Dancing Versus is a new item where I on occasion will compare books and movies or even books versus books as is the case with Hex and the international edition. I swear I will get to that at some point throughout the year. This isn’t an item that will reoccur every week or month. Just when I want to compare certain books or movies.
In this first case I want to talk about A Monster Calls. You might have remembered that I read the illustrated edition last year and I was quite taken by the book. Earlier this year I watched the movie with my husband and I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you all.
The monster showed up after midnight. As they do. But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming… This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.
We all know that when books get turned into a movie or a tv show things are altered. Very often the script players have little idea what is important to the story, us or even the author. Sometimes a story can be changed so much it is bearly recognizable.
This was not the case for A Monster Calls. The book in itself is not that long so there is not much to change without impacting the story greatly. They did leave out one aspect of our mc having a former friend at school. I would have liked to have seen that aspect in the story but I could live with it getting cut out. It did create a such a focus on the emotional turmoil he was going through.
Other than that the story of the book is followed pretty much to a T. The biggest reason for this is that Patrick Ness wrote the screenplay himself. It just shows throughout the whole movie.
While a good screenplay can be important, a good cast is great as well as those that follow the Shadowhunters tv show can vouch for I am sure. I was very unsure of the cast initially, even as the movie started. Especially the one that plays Connor.
Connor is played by Lewis MacDougall and I was not feeling him at all at the start of the movie. He just seemed to distant. Lacking emotions. I couldn’t connect with him like I did instantly with Connor in the book. But as the end of the movie neared I realized that his distance had been anact, to hide the emotional innerturmoil of his character, and those were finally coming out. And he swept me up completely. He hit me and there was no way to hide. I read later that his own mother had died not that long before filming this movie so I can imagine some of his own emotions being in there as well.
You might not have missed that Signourney Weaver plays in this movie. Being a well known name I feared that this movie would focus more on her than the story would permit. But this wasn’t the case at all. I think she played the stiff grandmother very well.
One cannot speak of cast and leave out the monster. Of course we only hear the actors voice here. I had another idea of how the monsters voice would sound but in the end I got used to Liam Neeson’s voice.
The other actors were also fine in my eyes. But these were the main focus in the movie. The ones that really counted.
I might have mentioned before that I am not someone who easily cries. This book caught me unaware last year. Even though I know the story, I knew what was going to happen, I still was near tears. The story leaves such an impact through the visualization of the monster that it is hard to leave the movie or book and be unaffected at all.
In case you were wondering, I highly recommend watching this movie. With or without having read the book. Have you seen A Monster Calls?