Verdict: Monster is a beautiful film of shifting perspectives that doesn't reveal its true nature until the end.

  • Sakura Ando, Eita Nagayama
  • March 15th 2024
  • Hirokazu Koreeda

Monster revolves a young boy who displays concerning behaviour and his mum can’t figure out what’s going on.

After hits such as Shoplifters and Broker, Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda is back with his latest film Monster.

The film revolves around a young boy named Minato (Soya Kurokawa), who starts displaying strange and unusual behaviour. He tells his worried mum Saori (Sakura Ando) that he is being bullied by his teacher Mr. Hori (Eita Nagayama) so she storms into the school demanding answers.

The narrative then shifts perspective to Mr. Hori and shows his version of events before switching for a third time to uncover the full story via Minato’s eyes.

Yuji Sakamoto won the Best Screenplay award at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and deservedly so. The clever script expertly weaves the storylines together and helps you slowly connect all the pieces together.

All three revolve around what happened to Minato in school but they don’t repeat themselves as much as you’d expect. There are some moments that overlap, but the chapters unveil more context about each person and more details than the previous one instead of simply retelling the same scenes from a different viewpoint.

The first two perspectives are similar and for a long time it seems as if the crux of the film is to discern who is telling the truth and who is the titular monster. However, the third perspective changes everything and reveals a completely unexpected layer to the story.

The final chapter is easily the best one because this is where the story really hits its stride and become a poignant and heartfelt coming-of-age tale about Minato and his friend Yori (Hinata Hiiragi).

The performances from the two young boys will blow you away. It’s astounding how they can access such emotional depth and range at such a young age. In particular, Kurokawa runs the gamet of emotions on his face and makes it look so easy.

Monster is a beautiful film of shifting perspectives that doesn’t reveal its true nature until the end.

In UK and Irish cinemas on Friday 15th March. For more information, visit

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