Monster’s Ball

Hank: Billy Bob Thornton
Leticia: Halle Berry
Sonny: Heath Ledger
Buck: Peter Boyle
Lawrence: Sean Combs
Tyrell: Coronji Calhoun
Lions Gate Films presents a film directed by Marc Forster. Written by Milo Addica and Will Rokos. Running time: 111 minutes. Rating R for strong sexual content, language and violence.

Central Theme
Two good people who have done bad things can find redemption by building a new and better life with each other.

‘Monster’s Ball’ is an old English term for a condemned man’s last night on earth and it is the execution of Lawrence that brings together Hank and Leticia. Hank is an abused son and an abusive father whose execution of Lawrence brings his relationship with his own son to a breaking point, revealing the deep fault lines in a family whose history is characterized by hatred, racism, misery and suicide. Leticia is an African American woman who has lost all feeling for her husband Lawrence and is conflicted about their son, a sweet but overweight boy. Her husband’s execution, the loss of her job, the threat of eviction from her home, all finally overwhelm her when her son is killed in a hit and run accident. Hank, a caucasian raised in a racist home, happens to be at the scene and we see two desperately lonely and broken people thrown together, both having buried their sons. Their hunger and need drive them to each other and appears to carry them past the revelations of their other point in common, her executed husband. The storyline is enhanced by the well-written script that leaves many questions unanswered, and by the believable performances from the key characters.

Beliefs num
–The evil deeds of the past revisit the next generation
–It is possible to break with the past cycle of hate in your family.
–Two hurting people who have been without feelings can make each other come alive and the two weak ones can become stronger.
–Confessing our failures to each other is cleansing.
–Living a better life redeems the bad life we’ve lived.
–Sex is a pathway to connecting and feeling again

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Do you believe the merger of two hurting people is the basis of a good relationship?
–Are solace and sympathy the same as love?
–Can a person suddenly change from uncaring and bitter to loving and giving?
–Does redemption consist of balancing out the scales of bad and good in our life?
–Do you think the relationship of Hank and Leticia will last?

Provocative Quotes byline
–I hate niggers. Your mother hated niggers too.
==Hank’s dad, Buck
–Some places throw a party the night before (the execution) — they call it the monster’s ball.
==Hank to Sonny
–I’m never going to see you again. Why? Because I’m a bad man. I want you to know — you ain’t me.
==Lawrence to his son Tyrell, in last conversation before execution
–The only reason I’m here is so you can say good-bye to your son. I been coming here 11 years and I’m tired.
–For every time I hurt you, I’m sorry.
==Lawrence to his wife in last conversation before execution
–I’ve always believed a portrait captures a person better than a photograph. It takes a human to truly see another human.
==Lawrence to Hank in last conversation before execution
–Why is this room such a mess? Because a fat-ass little piggy lives here. Come on let’s wait for your daddy to call.
==Leticia to Tyrell the evening of the execution
–Push the button.
==Last words of Lawrence
–You know what you did. You f—ed him up. You f—cked up his last walk.
==Hank to Sonny when Sonny vomits while walking Lawrence to his execution
–Do you hate me?
==Sonny to Hank
–Yes I hate you and I always did.
==Hank to Sonny
–Well I always loved you.
==Sonny’s last words
–He was weak.
==Buck’s assessment of Sonny’s last act
–All I want to hear is that dirt hitting that box.
==Hank at Sonny’s funeral when the pastor offers to read a passage of scripture
–You are reminding me of your mother. Your mother wasn’t worth s–t. She failed me. I got more p—-y when she died then when she was my wife. The point is she quit on me. Now you’re doing the same thing.
==Buck to Hank when Hank resigns at the correctional institute
–I don’t know. Just doing the right thing I guess. My son died — he died. I never was a very good father. He was a good boy. When I saw what you were going through it made me think of something. You know when you feel like you can’t breathe. Can’t get out from inside yourself?
==Hank to Leticia
–He was a good kid. He loved me. He was so fat! I didn’t want my boy to be so fat. A black boy in America can’t be fat like that.
==Leticia to Hank
–Can you make me feel? I haven’t felt for so long.
==Letitia, having sex the night of her son’s death
–In my prime I had a thing for nigger juice myself. He ain’t a man until he’s split some cocoa.
==Buck to Leticia when she brings Hank a gift
–I don’t. He’s my father.
==Hank about his dad when he moves him to a nursing home and the nurse says you must love him very much
–Good, because I need to be taken care of.
==Leticia when Hank tells her he wants to take care of her
–I went by our store — looked at the sign. I think we’re gonna be all right.
==Hank to Leticia, eating ice cream on the porch, not knowing she has learned he was involved in her husband’s execution

Posted in Movies, Staublog in February 8, 2002 by | No Comments »

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