A beautifully-rendered drama that affects the senses, what "Monos" lacks in narrative it makes up for in mood.
"Monos" (which translates to "monkeys"), is a film that doesn't feel the need to feed the audience what it wants. This approach feels fresh, but it also means that it's not a film that will be accepted by a wide audience.
And that's OK. "Monos" drops us without warning or explanation into a mountainous region somewhere in Latin America. A group of teenage commandos with names like "Bigfoot" (Moises Arias) "Rambo," "Dog" and "Wolf," train with and are given orders from some sort of militant general. They have an American hostage that they refer to as "Doctora" (Julianne Nicholson) and they are asked to take care of a cow, that was donated to them by some shady militant group as a means to provide milk to the isolated group. "Take care of the cow" was what they were tasked with. But as unfettered teenagers with assault weapons tend to do, they accidentally kill the cow. This leads to a series of events that puts them on the run through a dense jungle terrain, and it's where the movie goes all-in with it's "Lord of the Flies" allegories.
That's all you're going to get as far as plot. The beauty of "Monos" comes in the striking cinematography by Jasper Wolf, and the astounding work by Oscar-nominated composer, Mica Levi ("Jackie," "Under the Skin"). This combination of sight and sound makes "Monos" an experience, more than just a movie, and a thrilling one at that.
Some context would have been nice, but "Monos" delivers as a jolt to the senses, putting us right there with this group of indoctrinated soldiers that know no other way of life.
Genre: Drama, Thriller.
Run Time: 1 hour 42 minutes.
Starring: Sofia Buenaventura, Moises Arias, Julianne Nicholson.
Written and Directed by Alejandro Landes ("Porfirio").
"Monos" opens in limited-release on Friday, October 4th, 2019.
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