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Monster 12 rating

Not all is as it seems in Hirokazu Koreeda’s powerful drama told from shifting perspectives.

Drama 2023 127 mins

Director: Hirokazu Koreeda



The latest film by Hirokazu Koreeda sees the Cannes Palme d’Or-winner (Shoplifters) return to his native Japan with a wondrously and heartbreakingly humanistic tale. The reputation of schoolteacher Mr Hori is questioned when a local fire triggers the circulation of scandalous rumours. Meanwhile, single mother Saori despairs when her son Minato, a student in Mr Hori’s class, comes home from school injured and visibly disturbed, yet unable to share what has happened to him. Not all is as it seems, in this the compelling drama and mystery that evolves as a non-linear portrait of community, friendship and family.

Beautifully crafted and featuring sublime performances (particularly from young Soya Kurokawa and Hinata Hiiragi), Monster is an emotionally rich experience, with intelligent layers that keep unravelling and surprising, right up to the very last frame.