Mon Mon Mon Monsters (2017)

Mon Mon Mon Monsters
Director: Giddens Ko
Writer: Giddens Ko
Cast: Eugenie LiuKent TsaiYu-Kai TengJames LaiMeng TaoBonnie LiangCarolyn Chen
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 27.9.2017

Shu-Wei (Yu-Kai Teng) is the outsider of his class, a bullied underdog. One day he gets accused of stealing the class money and gets detention, next to the worst offenders of his class who bully him the most. But this provides Shu-Wei with the opportunity to garner some favor with them. As he joins them in increasingly big offences, they stumble upon a flesh-eating creature that they manage to capture. But what are they supposed to do now?

I really had my problems with Mon Mon Mon Monsters, both regarding the story it tells and the (too long) way it tells it.

The overall feeling I got from this film is that it was made by somebody who truly, madly, deeply hates teenagers and thinks that they are the worst. And I know that teens can be cruel and mean and pretty horrible, but they can also be sweet and smart and passionately kind much like – you will never guess it – adults. Portraying them in such an unforgiving way is neither helpful, nor true.

In any case, I really didn’t like Shu-Wei. He’s supposed to be our way into the film and we’re supposed to question the moral decisions they make together with him. But there’s no question here, no doubt, no ambiguity. Just because he just goes along with it and isn’t the leader doesn’t make him or his actions in any way better or less objectionable. Now, if they had told the entire film from the perspective of the monster, here’s something that could have worked.

As with many Asian films, this was too long for my taste, especially the torture scenes were so long that they felt more than just a little exploitative.

I do hope that the way school is shown here, as well as the geriatric care, is an overblown movie version and not actually Chinese reality because holy shit that’s horrifying – actually the most horrifying thing about the film.

In the end Mon Mon Mon Monsters left me feeling uneasy – but not due to the moral question of “who’s the real monster here” it would like to raise, but due to the many problems I had with the narrative.

Summarizing: Can be skipped.

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