A Monster with a Thousand Heads
23rd September 4500 2.44pm at Ciné Lumière
23rd September 4600 2.44pm at Vue Islington
The excellent A Monster with a Thousand Heads tackles the harsh realities of healthcare industry corruption, a timely topic that currently impacts millions of people worldwide. It addresses the subject through the struggle of Sonia Bonet (played by an outstanding Jan Raluy), a wife and mother driven to desperate measures when treatment for her dying husband Guillermo is continually delayed due to their insurance company’s bureaucratic red-tape policies. Thwarted in every effort to obtain the necessary approvals to save her husband’s life through proper process, she is spurred on by the urgency of his rapidly deteriorating health to impart vigilante force upon the doctors, executives and stakeholders who have been complicit in deliberately stonewalling his chances of survival in the name of corporate profits.
His film clocking in at a modest but exceptionally taut 74 minutes, director Rodrigo Piá wastes no time plunging the viewer into the dire circumstances facing Sonia and her family. The cold opening focuses on the middle of the night crisis in which she calls an ambulance to the house to aid her ailing spouse, effectively setting up the exposition from which the rising action establishes its momentum. The script by Laura Santullo (who adapted the screenplay from her novel) naturally lends itself to a brisk pace, but the solid direction and strong performances ensure the story arc provides the logic to believably support Sonia’s motivations. Complicating matters and adding tension to the plot is Sonia’s decision to involve her and Guillermo’s son Dario (Sebastian Aguirre Boeda) in her risky plan; only a teen, he wants to help his father and support his mother but is understandably scared at the extremes Sonia’s willing to go to in order to get their insurance company to pay for Guillermo’s cancer drugs.
All of this gallops toward a tense resolution using the clever device of intermittent voiceovers from various people who are sharing testimony at a court hearing at some point in the future. It’s elements like this that grab the audience and keep them on edge right through to its conclusion. That being said, the most impressive thing about A Monster with a Thousand Heads is how the tough questions it raises weigh on for the viewer well after the final credits have rolled.
A Monster with a Thousand Heads does not have a UK release date yet.
Watch the trailer for A Monster with a Thousand Heads here: