Movie Review: Monster

‘Monster’ is a 2003 crime-drama based on American serial killer Aileen Wuornos.

It’s one of those movies that I’ve had ‘Net-listed’ for a long time – but could never quite bring myself to watch because of the gritty subject matter.

Wuornos was a Daytona Beach prostitute with a horrendous upbringing who basically cracks and starts killing the guys who pick her up.

And to tell you the truth, after such a relentless and hard life, I really didn’t blame her.

 

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Aileen Wuornos was executed for her crimes in 2002 after spending over a decade on death row.

 

In a spectacular performance, Charlize Theron is totally deserving of the Oscar she won for her performance as Wuornos.

Gone are her typical starlet good looks and in their place is a woman in such anger and self loathing that it’s painful to watch for much of the film.

 

Theron gained 40 pounds for the role, had prosthetic teeth, shaved off her eyebrows and underwent a serious makeup transformation.

 

In some ways ‘Monster’ is a love story centred around Wuornos and her girlfriend, Selby Wall (played with innocence and yet total self-centredness by Christina Ricci).

Yet it’s worth noting that for legal reasons, the character of Selby Wall is a completely fictionalised girlfriend, and nothing like Wuornos’ real-life lover, Tyria Moore.

 

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Unlike in the movie, Tyria Moore was actually older, bigger (and probably wiser) than Wuornos.

 

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The movie shows a new relationship between the two women, but in reality, Wuornos and Moore were together for 3 years already before the killings began, and a total of four years together.

 

Overall, this is an incredible movie but be warned that it’s also heart-breaking and relentless. (I fast forwarded through a couple of the more violent scenes)

Available on Netflix and check out the official trailer here:

 

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