I watched "Monster" eons back and was moved by everyone else. After watching all the documentaries on Aileen Wuornos (read the review here and here) and knowing atleast half the truth, I am dismayed.

The movie has been written and directed by Patty Jenkins. It stars Christina Ricci as Selby Wall and Charlize Theron as Aileen Wuornos. 

Let me first get my negative thoughts out of the way:

  • The movie is based only on the killings. It does not cover Aileen's life before or after that period. We get to know about her unhappy, abused filled life in bits and parts when she talks about it. I am very, very surprised the director didn't want to cover it
  • Why would you call a movie "Monster" unless it is based on a monster. KC remarked "that is a terrible name for a movie". Yes, it is. Specially because Aileen had shades of gray and the sad part is nobody cares. 
  • Aileen was on death row for 10 years. Does the story end when she is given the death sentence? There is so much more that happened after. But then of course, the audience wouldn't really be interested in how she was manipulated by everyone around her or how she was mentally ill by the time she was given the lethal injection. 
  • Selby Wall- Aileen's lover (in real life her name was Tyria Moore) is portrayed very differently from Tyria. She is shown to be nice, young, prone to tantrums, someone who pushed Aileen back into prostitution when they ran out of money but subtly. The way I see it, Tyria was/is a manipulator. She knew exactly what Aileen was doing. There were even reports of her at the crime scene which means could have been involved in the murders but none of that is shown in the movie. It is pretty obvious, Tyria got some money from the movie deal and shows her in a mostly positive light. 
  • The movie only shows Aileen killing her clients. Is the movie saying that she killed every man who picked her up for sex after Vincent Cory's (in real life - it was Richard Mallory who tried to rape her and he was the first victim) murder? Does that mean she slept with only 6-7 men in that one year? Hard to believe since she earned money through prostitution. Maybe, she slept with many men and 6-7 of them were killed because they tried to rape her or pissed her off. We don't know because Aileen's lawyer didn't care to get to the bottom of the truth and neither did the director. 
Of course, there are positives:
  • Charlize Theron is amazing. I have seen the documentaries and Charlize got Aileen's look and mannerisms to the "T". Sometimes, when actors play a "character". you can see they are "acting". Like, Farhan Akhtar in "Bhaag Milkha Bhaag". Throughout the movie, I could see Farhan "playing" Milkha Singh. You don't for a moment forget that it is him. Not in the case of Charlize. She is Aileen through and through.
  • Christina Ricci as Selby Wall is superb. She plays the character so well, which is very different from real life Tyria Moore. Christina is pretty, sexy, young, confused and she brings out the shades of gray quite well. She is nice but selfish, in love but practical enough to side with the police. You don't end up blaming Selby but you know she is not a nice person. In fact, Aileen is a more loyal person than Selby. You would rather be friends with Aileen rather than Selby. 

If you don't know or care about Aileen's real story, this movie is great. Unfortunately, I do know and it makes me sad that the director only covered the most controversial parts that the audience would want to watch. There are no layers to it and it is very far from what actually happened. 


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