Set in the Southern United States, 'Monster's Ball' is a tale of a racist white man, Hank, who falls in love with a black woman named Leticia. Ironically Hank is a prison guard working on Death Row who executed Leticia's husband. Hank and Leticia's interracial affair leads to confusion and new ideas for the two unlikely lovers. Written by
This movie was not a big favorite with audiences and I figured I would be among the majority on this one......but I wasn't - I like this film. In fact, I liked it even better on the second viewing.
I found it to be one of those rare movies that deals with racism that doesn't come on too heavy-handed with all the political correctness nonsense. It handled the problem intelligently, I thought.
The cinematographer, Robert Schaefer, did a terrific job with this, too, and that is another reason I have come to really enjoy this film. The visuals - and the audio - are outstanding.
None of the characters are particularly likable but I thought Billy Bob Thornton's "Hank Grotowski" was so interesting a character that I concentrated more on that than whether I liked him or not. However, I wound up liking him, anyway, and boy, did his character change in this film. There is a steamy sex scene in here with Billy Bob and Halle Barry that was quite the talk when the film was released. I didn't think it was all that it was made out to be. I've seen steamier moments such as Alec Baldwin and Kim Bassinger going at it in the non-rated version of "The Getaway."
Overall, this a rough film in spots but I think it is a solid, underrated drama that offers far more than the "celebrated" sex scene. This is a well-made movie.
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