Monday 3 January 2005

Monster (2003) - ickleReview (DVD)

Film about the serial killer Aileen Wuornos (Charlize Theron, who won the Oscar for Best Actress). Aileen is a hooker and has been since she was 13. She is on the brink of committing suicide when she meets Selby (Christina Ricci) in a gay bar. Their love is Aileen's last chance at redemption. But one night, when she is trying to hook a little money before a date with Selby, she is raped by one of her customers and kills him in self-defence. When she can't get a real job going straight, things spiral out of control. The killings take on punishment status, repaying all the men who have mistreated her and all womankind.

Theron gives a career best performance and Ricci provides strong support. Both of them are likeable: the film goes some way to explaining how and why all these murders occurred - if not fully excusing them. The "monster" of the title refers to how Aileen has been damaged so that she chokes on the things that should be easy and enjoyable (loving, or riding a ferris wheel) and barely hesitates to commit acts of evil. Aileen is a human monster, however: her actions are not entirely her fault: they are a result of how she has been mistreated and the misfortunes she has suffered.

Both Selby and Aileen are lost souls: banished by their families and unrealistic in their aspirations, drunk on the liquor of love.

Nugget: we need more films by women such as writer/director Patty Jenkins.

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