A Monster Calls

The following is dialog from the movie, A Monster Calls, between a 15 year-old boy, Connor O’Malley, and a “monster”, voiced by Liam Niesen.  The boy’s mother is dying from cancer.  The monster has come to help the boy face this tragedy.  The boy has been having a dream in which his mother is falling into a deep hole and he catches her by the arm.  He struggles to pull her up.  Eventually, he can’t save her and after considerable struggles, he lets go of her.  He’s deeply ashamed of this.

The dialog occurs after the boy describes this dream to the monster.  Note what the monster says about the lies we tell ourselves.

Connor:  “I’ve known forever she wasn’t going to make it.  She kept telling me that she’d get better….because that is what I wanted to hear.  I believed her.  Except I didn’t.  I started to think how much I wanted it (her death) to be over but I couldn’t stand how alone it would make me feel.”

Monster:  “A part of you wished it would end even if it meant losing her.”

Connor:  “I let her go, I couldn’t hold on any longer, I always let her go.”

Monster:  “That is your truth, Connor O’Malley.”

Connor:  “I wanted to be there.  That was real.  Now, she is going to die and it’s all my fault.”

Monster:  “That is not the truth at all.  You were merely wishing for an end of pain.  Your own pain.  That is the most human wish there is.”

Connor:  “I didn’t mean it (the wish) though.”

Monster:  “You did but you also did not.”

Connor:  “How can both be true?”

Monster:  “How can a prince be a murderer and be loved by his people?”  How can an apothecary be evil-tempered but right thinking?” (referring to earlier sections in the movie)

Connor:  “I don’t know.  Those stories never made any sense to me.”

Monster:  (chuckles) “You humans are complicated beasts.  You believe comforting lies while knowing full well the painful truths that make those lies necessary.  In the end Connor, it is not important what you think.  It is important what you do.”

Connor:  “So what do I do?”

Monster:  “What you did just now….speak the truth.”

Connor:  “That’s all?”

Monster:  “You think it is easy?  You were willing to die rather than speak it.”