2019 Film Reviews – 58: Monos [dir. Alejandro Landes; 2019]

The worlds of Apocalypse Now and Lord Of The Flies bleed into each other in dizzying, brain-pummelling fashion in Monos: an elliptical, immaculately-performed tale of child soldiers looking after an American hostage in an unnamed South American country. As he moves the action from mountains to jungle – and his young protagonists shed more and more layers of their humanity – Landes contrasts aggressive shapes with lurid, saturated colours and an astonishing, vertebra-crunching score by Mica Levi to create one of the most gripping and humane pieces of cinema of the year. It may not offer any easy answers to the questions it raises, but that makes all the more unmissable.

Dariush

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