SIFF Capsule Review: In this “The Lord of the Flies”-esque tale about a group of kids turned soldiers in the jungles of Colombia, director and co-writer Alejandro Landes delivers an engrossing exploration of innocence corrupted and power abused with Monos.
Gritty and oft mesmerizing, Monos properly balances the psychology of military discipline—and the lack thereof—with literal storytelling. The juxtaposition between the teenage soldiers and their hostage (played, oddly, by the one recognizable cast member, Julianne Nicholson) doesn’t always work, the confusion of protagonists not always working in the film’s favor. And yet the lack of clarity regarding what’s right and what motivates people is equally interesting.
Monos doesn’t always, entirely work—the first half is more involving than the second—but it’s captivating cinema nonetheless.
The movie was screened at the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF).
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.