Pål Sletaune‘s The Monitor (Babycall) (On DVD July 24, 2012) – The Monitor is an unspectacular and difficult to follow film. Noomi Rapace (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) stars as Anna, an abused housewife who flees with Anders (Vetle Qvenild Werring), her son, to escape her abusive husband. The film didn’t leave any detail on how much of the abuse she and her son suffered from her husband, and even less about exactly who he is.
Anna is neurotic and could not stand to be too far away from her son. In order to feel more comfortable about leaving her son alone in his own room, she purchases a baby monitor from Helge (Kristoffer Joner), a worker at an electronics shop and who she eventually establishes a relationship with.
Throughout the film, Anna begins to try and navigate psychological and emotional impact of her fears. She began to think that the “sounds” she heard on the monitor originated from another apartment, and the baby monitor just was picking up the interference, although the film sort of eluded to the possibility of ghosts in the machine. Almost too soon the film started to lose it’s edge, and things became a bit more predictable, and this is what disappointed me about it.
Sletaune does an excellent job in defining the relationships between the character and audience in the film–Rapace and Joner perform exceptionally well in that these two have a thing for one another but does not burden the film by forcing Joner out to be the hero or subjecting the audience to a needless romantic interludes. There are scenes that deliver a powerful impact (depictions of child abuse), but the rest of the film felt rather cold and stoic; this makes this review really difficult, because after the first hour, which was really intense; there are gaps where she is trying to sort out if the horrible sounds she hears on the monitor plays out in reality–or just in her own mind.
Overall, Monitor is still worth checking out. The first hour of the film is really worth watching, and the acting performances are solid. The good parts of the film are really good. The rest is well, a little disappointing. The film builds up just the right amount of tension and falls just short of being memorable.
The Monitor (Babycall) was received as a courtesy for review from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Winner for best actress for her role in The Monitor at the Rome Film Festival in 2011, the psychological thriller stars Noomi Rapace, Kristoffer Joner (King of Devil’s Island), Henrik Rafaelsen (Happy Happy). The DVD includes deleted scenes from the film.
Source: Lionsgate Home Entertainment
- editor rating3
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