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  •  READER COMMENTS

    Reader comments on Monster

    Subject: Re: Does the term
    Date: Feb 3, 2004
    Sender: shamus of the northPrevious | Next

    I'd agree with ethan's cynical take on the film except that I saw it last night and I don't think a film like this has the impact it does, if it is built solely upon a foundation of marketing startegies and career moves. The naturel complexity of the characters and events seems to me to come out of a true affinity or interest in exploring a dark and puzzling story.


    Previous: Re: Does the term | Next: Re: Does the term

    Respond to this message | Return to original article: Monster



    Response to this comment:
    Re: Does the term

    How can I criticize a great piece of art?

    I guess for me, the key question is, do the ends justify the means?

    I haven't (and won't) see Monster, but by all reports, it's a well-made film, so I'll agree on faith that it's fine cinema.

    It's still lifted whole cloth from the suffering of real people, by individuals with no personal connection to the tragedy, who are going to benefit financially and in their careers from this exploitation.

    If the director/screenwriter had the ingenuity to come up with a fictional script touching on similar subject matter, I would want to see this film. By way of comparison, I highly recommend Dancer in the Dark. That film used fiction (and a considerable amount of imagination, innovation and heart) to make an impassioned plea against the death penalty. In the process, Lar von Trier created a memorable fable, rather than recounting a real person's pain for profit.

    If the proceeds of this film were directed toward charity, again, I would see this film. But that's not what Monster is about. Monster wouldn't have gotten funding if it weren't about a tabloidesque true crime. It wouldn't have attracted Charlize Theron without the Wournos hype/Oscar potential, and I suspect it wouldn't have lured Patty Jenkins if she hadn't noticed the commercial/critical/career springboard success of Boys Don't Cry. It's not a new Hollywood trick--Sally Field escaped her Flying Nun past and walked home with an Oscar for Norma Rae, while the real life Norma Rae walked home with nothing.

    By way of comparison, Indie Antihero Steven Spielberg had presence of mind to set up a holocaust remembrance foundation and contribute to charities with the proceeds from his nonfiction holocaust film. Even in a lighthearted nothing of a film lifted from real life--Catch Me If You Can--Spielberg compensated the real life Frank Abagnale Jr. for his story and consulted with him on the making of the film. (And by the way, I'm not a Spielberg fan).

    Monster is marketed as a story of difficult universal truths lifted from a lurid real life. On the level of the film itself, this may be true. I'm only arguing that the machinations behind the making of this film are lurid too.

    There's an argument that the merits of Monster outweigh the motives behind its creation. It's a fair point. I just don't happen to agree with it.







    Comment index:

  • Does the term "Blood Money" ring a bell?   from Ethan, Jan 9, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from JPColter, Jan 14, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from Catherine, Jan 18, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from ethan, Jan 20, 2004
  • » Re: Does the term «   from shamus of the north, Feb 3, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from JPColter, Sep 28, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from ethan, Nov 25, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from jpcolter, Dec 9, 2004
  • Raging Cow?   from Lin, Jan 22, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from ethan, Jan 22, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from Vincent, Jan 23, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from ethan, Jan 23, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from Vincentq, Jan 26, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from Lin, Jan 29, 2004
  • Lin   from ethan, Jan 30, 2004
  • Re: Lin   from Lin, Jan 30, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from Rob Willis, Oct 25, 2005
  • Woo, I love non-true things.   from Jessie, Feb 11, 2004
  • Re: Woo, I love non-true things.   from , Feb 12, 2004
  • Re: Woo, I love non-true things.   from Niki, Jan 23, 2005
  • Re: Woo, I love non-true things.   from Rob Willis, Oct 25, 2005
  • Lee   from ccms, Jan 12, 2004
  • in awe   from Sah, Jan 18, 2004
  • Re: in awe   from beth, Jun 22, 2004
  • Astounding performance   from susan mellups, Jan 24, 2004
  • I liked it but ...   from ajm, Feb 4, 2004
  • Re: I liked it but ...   from Catherine, Feb 15, 2004
  • Re: I liked it but ...   from marie, Jun 27, 2004
  • Re: I liked it but ...   from , Aug 5, 2004
  • Re: I liked it but ...   from Honey Singh, Dec 22, 2004
  • This Movie Was Amazing!!!   from Haley bechler, Feb 15, 2004
  • Shocking, to say the least   from Erica, Feb 21, 2004
  • How in god's name did she get that oscar?   from Jaclyn, Mar 23, 2004
  • Re: How in god's name did she get that oscar?   from Rob Willis, Oct 25, 2005
  • Re: How in god's name did she get that oscar?   from Rob Willis, Oct 25, 2005
  • Re: That 80's song played in roller skate scene?   from shyeshye, Jun 22, 2004
  • wow   from bethany, Jun 14, 2004
  • song title   from shyeshye, Jun 22, 2004
  • Re: song title   from Rachel, Jan 4, 2009
  • [no subject]   from Tina, Aug 4, 2004
  • songs   from Kay, Aug 25, 2004
  • Re: songs   from Angie P, Sep 18, 2004
  • Re: songs   from Superman, Sep 26, 2004
  • Re: songs   from adi, Nov 25, 2004
  • Re: songs   from leanne, Jan 3, 2006
  • [no subject]   from hayley, Nov 24, 2004
  • Best Movie   from Honey Singh, Dec 22, 2004
  • SOOO SAD   from Nichol Hoy, Jan 23, 2005
  • Re: SOOO SAD   from norma b, Apr 5, 2005
  • Hard to watch but what a shame to miss   from Tackleberry, Feb 7, 2005
  • monster   from norma, Apr 5, 2005
  • Good Movie   from lydia, May 7, 2005
  • Re: Good Movie   from Rob Willis, Oct 25, 2005
  • Re: Good Movie   from connie, Jan 1, 2006
  • Re: Good Movie   from Pamela, Jan 26, 2006
  • Re: Good Movie   from Pamela, Jan 26, 2006
  • Re: Good Movie   from L O K I, Sep 26, 2008
  • scary   from Brit, Mar 16, 2006
  • re:song   from GABS, Jun 8, 2006
  • this is my favorite movie of all time!   from Kim, Jul 10, 2006
  • Aileen Wiernos "Monster".   from Joan Palmer, Oct 9, 2006
  • Abouit the movie ''monster''   from Jenna, Feb 19, 2007
  • Y'all have a good movie   from Janet Jackson, Feb 20, 2007
  • Does the term "Blood Money" ring a bell?   from Ethan, Jan 9, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from JPColter, Jan 14, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from Catherine, Jan 18, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from ethan, Jan 20, 2004
  • » Re: Does the term «   from shamus of the north, Feb 3, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from JPColter, Sep 28, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from ethan, Nov 25, 2004
  • Re: Does the term   from jpcolter, Dec 9, 2004
  • Raging Cow?   from Lin, Jan 22, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from ethan, Jan 22, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from Vincent, Jan 23, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from ethan, Jan 23, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from Vincentq, Jan 26, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from Lin, Jan 29, 2004
  • Lin   from ethan, Jan 30, 2004
  • Re: Lin   from Lin, Jan 30, 2004
  • Re: Raging Cow?   from Rob Willis, Oct 25, 2005
  • Woo, I love non-true things.   from Jessie, Feb 11, 2004
  • Re: Woo, I love non-true things.   from , Feb 12, 2004
  • Re: Woo, I love non-true things.   from Niki, Jan 23, 2005
  • Re: Woo, I love non-true things.   from Rob Willis, Oct 25, 2005
  • Lee   from ccms, Jan 12, 2004
  • in awe   from Sah, Jan 18, 2004
  • Re: in awe   from beth, Jun 22, 2004
  • Astounding performance   from susan mellups, Jan 24, 2004
  • I liked it but ...   from ajm, Feb 4, 2004
  • Re: I liked it but ...   from Catherine, Feb 15, 2004
  • Re: I liked it but ...   from marie, Jun 27, 2004
  • Re: I liked it but ...   from , Aug 5, 2004
  • Re: I liked it but ...   from Honey Singh, Dec 22, 2004
  • This Movie Was Amazing!!!   from Haley bechler, Feb 15, 2004
  • Shocking, to say the least   from Erica, Feb 21, 2004
  • How in god's name did she get that oscar?   from Jaclyn, Mar 23, 2004
  • Re: How in god's name did she get that oscar?   from Rob Willis, Oct 25, 2005
  • Re: How in god's name did she get that oscar?   from Rob Willis, Oct 25, 2005
  • Re: That 80's song played in roller skate scene?   from shyeshye, Jun 22, 2004
  • wow   from bethany, Jun 14, 2004
  • song title   from shyeshye, Jun 22, 2004
  • Re: song title   from Rachel, Jan 4, 2009
  • [no subject]   from Tina, Aug 4, 2004
  • songs   from Kay, Aug 25, 2004
  • Re: songs   from Angie P, Sep 18, 2004
  • Re: songs   from Superman, Sep 26, 2004
  • Re: songs   from adi, Nov 25, 2004
  • Re: songs   from leanne, Jan 3, 2006
  • [no subject]   from hayley, Nov 24, 2004
  • Best Movie   from Honey Singh, Dec 22, 2004
  • SOOO SAD   from Nichol Hoy, Jan 23, 2005
  • Re: SOOO SAD   from norma b, Apr 5, 2005
  • Hard to watch but what a shame to miss   from Tackleberry, Feb 7, 2005
  • monster   from norma, Apr 5, 2005
  • Good Movie   from lydia, May 7, 2005
  • Re: Good Movie   from Rob Willis, Oct 25, 2005
  • Re: Good Movie   from connie, Jan 1, 2006
  • Re: Good Movie   from Pamela, Jan 26, 2006
  • Re: Good Movie   from Pamela, Jan 26, 2006
  • Re: Good Movie   from L O K I, Sep 26, 2008
  • scary   from Brit, Mar 16, 2006
  • re:song   from GABS, Jun 8, 2006
  • this is my favorite movie of all time!   from Kim, Jul 10, 2006
  • Aileen Wiernos "Monster".   from Joan Palmer, Oct 9, 2006
  • Abouit the movie ''monster''   from Jenna, Feb 19, 2007
  • Y'all have a good movie   from Janet Jackson, Feb 20, 2007