I normally reserve my movie reviews for Friday’s-Finest, but I hastily brought this one forward since I just saw Monos at the cinema and it has been selected as the Colombian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. What made me run literally 5 minutes up the road to see this today was the following article from BBC: Ten films to watch this September:
The Guardian says that (Monos -monkeys) “This overpoweringly tense and deeply mad thriller is … something between Apocalypse Now, Lord of the Flies and Embrace of the Serpent”. If that weren’t recommendation enough, Guillermo del Toro is quoted in the trailer deeming Monos “mesmerising”, and co-writer-director, Alejandro Landes, “a powerful new voice in cinema”. Released 13 September in the US.
Plot – Wikipedia: In a remote mountaintop setting somewhere in Latin America, a rebel group of teenage commandos perform military training exercises while watching over a prisoner (Julianne Nicholson) and a conscripted milk cow for a shadowy force known only as “The Organization.” After an ambush drives the squadron into the jungle, fracturing their intricate bond, the mission begins to collapse.
Monos is a very disturbing film to watch. I found it vexatious seeing adolescents conduct themselves as they do in this movie. Some might find it sexually exploitative even though it is most likely an accurate reflection of how teenagers under the same duress might react. This is Colombia and only yesterday Ivan Marquez an ex FARC rebel issued a call to arms. Kids like these; even much younger have for years been enticed and many times coerced into forming allegiance with similar renegade groups. As much as Monos at the surface level for international viewers may seem a fantasy, believe me it isn’t.
Monos is definitely a movie to be seen in the cinema since what impressed me most was the hypnotic soundtrack and spectacular cinematography. I can’t think of another recent movie where the soundtrack has played a more pivotal role and been so effective. Regarding filming..If you enjoyed Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant’s ‘stream of consciousness’ cinematography then you will certainly admire this one.
Monos is a comparatively short thriller film and when the credits rolled I was left fixated on the screen trying to process that which had occurred, but indebted all the same for this jarring movie experience.