'Monos': A Riveting Tale of Youthful Militants Posted to a Remote Mountaintop Outpost
“Monos” (2019) is a bold and wildly unconventional South American war film that follows a group of teenage guerrillas, self-styled "monos" (monkeys), who have been posted to a remote Colombian outpost in order to guard a kidnapped American doctor (Julianne Nicholson).
Nestled above the clouds in the remote, rugged Colombian Andes, the unit of 8 youthful commandos is left to their own devices when not intermittently visited by “The Messenger” (Wilson Salazar), their disciplined commander. He administers sessions of intense military training during his visits, yet leaves them to carouse and engaging in hedonistic revelry in his absence. When a single tragic mistake is committed, however, a cascading series of transgressions finds the group splintered and increasingly adversarial—the full reality of warfare weighing upon each of them discordantly.
Co-written and directed by Brazilian filmmaker Alejandro Landes ("Cocalero", "Porfirio"), "Monos" is a transcendent and enthralling cinematic conception, boosted immeasurably by Mica Levi's unique and innovative soundtrack. With inspiration from William Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” and Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”, it's a vibrant depiction of innocence loss, dehumanization and the innate savagery of human nature.
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