Monster is an ugly movie.
Itís based on an ugly true story, and itís just an ugly thing to watch.
But Monster is also fascinating to watch because itís based on a true story, and a real woman, Aileen Wuornos, a Florida woman considered to be the first female serial killer. How accurately Monster depicts her story, I have no idea. But it definitely depicts an ugly story, and does so very well.
Written and directed by Patty Jenkins, Monster tells the story of how Aileen Wuornos was a struggling, suicidal street walker, and how and why she turned to murder, and how and why she kept on murdering. I remember the real life case, and I always found it strange that a woman who looked like Wuornos could get paid for sex. That probably sounds very wrong to say, but at least Iím being honest. I donít remember much about the true story, as it was back in the late Eighties and I didnít really care all that much. But I do remember what I thought of her appearance, and actually, that she looked kinda crazy.
Well, whoever Patty Jenkins is, sheís pretty damn good at what she does.
Not only did she do a good job telling the story (again, I donít know how accurate it is), but she also took one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood, and convincingly transformed her into Wournos. But I guess the credit for that should really go to the actress herself, Charlize Theron.
Charlize Theron, is absolutely brilliant in this movie. Yes, her physical transformation is amazing, but it is very much Ms Theron that transfixes us to the screen. She portrays Aileen Wuornos as just one step away from a sympathetic character, and at times she is actually somebody to sympathize with. But then Theron beautifully and mercilessly takes her way over the edge in the blink of an eye, and I couldnít help but fear the character. This is an incredible performance, and I totally understand all the well deserved praise Theronís received for it.
Christina Ricci is also very good in Monster. Surprisingly, I think her character is actually less likable than Theronís, and she handles it very well. Sheís definitely come a very long way since her role as Wednesday in the Addams Family movies. But while Jenkins and Ricci do deserve praise here, itís all about Charlize Theron. This is one of those all time breakthrough roles which elevates an actor or actress to superstar. Her time has come.