In the realm of cinema, where narratives often follow familiar paths, Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda's 'Monster' takes an uncharted route. The film, set to release in Mexico on December 7, centers around the previously unexplored theme of homosexuality within adolescence - a topic that, despite the strides of acceptance and understanding we've made, still remains largely taboo.
A Taboo Topic Tackled with Tenderness
'Monster' weaves a tale of two boys standing on the threshold of adolescence, unraveling the delicate thread of their love for each other. The narrative, a first in Kore-eda's career, navigates the intricate subject of homosexuality with a grace and subtlety that is characteristic of his filmmaking style. The characters in the film embark on a quest for a non-existent monster, leaving its interpretation to the audience's discretion.
The film garnered critical acclaim, scooping up the Best Screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival and the Queer Palme. Yet, surprisingly, it was not chosen to represent Japan for the Oscar nomination. The film features remarkable performances by Kurokawa Soya, Hiiragi Hinata, Ando Sakura, and Nagayama Eita, with the script being a collaborative effort between Kore-eda and Yuji Sakamoto.
The Swansong of a Maestro
Adding a layer of poignancy to the film is its emotive score, the last work of renowned composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, who passed away on March 28, 2023. Sakamoto's soul-stirring music breathes life into 'Monster', enhancing its narrative depth.
'Monster' presents a multi-perspective storyline, offering glimpses into a single mother's struggles, the blossoming relationship between the two boys, and a teacher's view of one boy's circumstances. This intricate narrative structure, reminiscent of 'Rashomon', contributes to the film's richness and complexity. Ultimately, 'Monster' is not just a film - it's a rewarding journey towards acceptance.