FIN Review: Monos is a cathartic, other-worldly film experience

To say Monos blew my mind is a grandiose, deceptive statement. It did so much more than that: It transported me to another place for two hours.

I left my body, and journeyed into the jungles of Colombia with these young rebels, and forgot I was sitting inside a movie theatre. This is an experience tailor-made for the cinema, and if you see one movie on the big-screen this year, by God, let it be Monos.

It first made a splash at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Special Jury Award for World Cinema, and with picturesque, striking visuals and score that will tunnel its way inside your head, you’ll be transfixed.

It’s a glorious film about children learning about guerilla warfare and living life left to their own devices. When FIN Executive Director Wayne Carter aptly described this film to me as “Apocalypse Now meets Lord Of The Flies” in an interview, I figured her was pontificating because he loved the film so much.

As Carter introduced — and then sat down to watch Monos — I figured out his love for the movie was genuine, and I was in for a ride. Part of the FIN EXTREME program, Monos was edgy, intense and batshit insane, and I loved every moment.

The cinematography by Jasper Wolf is elegant and holds a foreshadowing, brooding feeling of nervous anticipation. Writer-director Alejandro Landes makes an incredible film for the discerning aficionado.

When these soldiers become embroiled in a number of accidents and tragedies that divide them, things begin to get out of control, and the further you let yourself slide into Landes’ world, the more you can’t believe the places Monos takes you.

Mica Levi’s score is transcendent, beautiful and builds anticipation to the film’s ultimate boiling point. I cannot believe how much I loved this film, and if you have any sort of love of weird, intense cinema, Monos will pull you in and not let go.

5/5 Stars

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