Monster (2003) Review

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Based on the true story of serial killer Aileen Wuornos, who couldn’t take her life as a prostitute when she is brutally raped and almost killed she snaps to defend herself.

Aileen did not have the best of lives and this stems from her pretty rotten childhood, something which is mentioned as the film goes on. In 1989 while working as a prostitute she meets a young woman Shelby and this makes her want to change her life as she falls in love with her. It is a very strange relationship though as she refuses to begin with as she doesn’t like girls. She attempts to change her life but that is not as easy as she first thought.

When they really need money she turns back to being a hooker to make some money so they can move away together. One night though a client goes too far and is very brutal with her (this is very tough scene to watch) and in self-defence she shoots him. Following this though she is completely messed up and sees all men like that monster. This then leads to a killing spree as she then takes their money and car.

Everything starts to become suspicious and the police eventually start piecing things together and Selby cannot really take the pressure of being dragged into something she didn’t actually have anything to do with in terms of the killing.

After watching the film I did the usual reading the facts and the only thing that it seems was changed for the film was Selby was a fictional character but based on a real woman. A different name and some differences in the real woman who Aileen had that final relationship with. I guess that was a sensible thing to do as it could have caused some problems.

Charlize Theron won an Oscar for her efforts in this film and I think that was more than deserved. It is one of those amazing performances where you actually forget the actress behind the character. Physically looking so different and the accent was impressive as well, I think it was certainly one of those going for an Oscar but it worked and she is engaging as Aileen. Christina Ricci offers a good support as Selby and I think this was essential to at least trying to show a “nicer” side to Aileen if that was really possible! Bruce Dern in a couple of scene stealing moments seems to be a standard for him!

Aileen was executed after 12 years on death row in Florida which was in 2002, the year before this film was released. It appears she changed her story a little bit to make sure she was just killed. She certainly had mental problems and issues which had to stem from abuse she suffered during childhood. Taking it out on the men she once used for money and not being able to handle it anymore after she snapped that night. If she had not been caught the death total would have been a lot higher I am sure. The film is a tough watch but certainly shows how someone can slowly lose their minds and then completely snap!

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