A boy and his mother in a Japanese film


“Monster” will play at the M.V. Film Center on Jan. 5. A challenging drama set in Japan, the director and editor Kore-eda Hirokazu was nominated for the Cannes Palme d’Or, writer Yuji Sakamoto won Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival, and the film was honored with the Queer Palm. ”Monster” was the last score created by Ryuichi Sakamoto before he died, and he was memorialized for his work.

In “Monster,” Saori Mugino, a single mother, is played by Sakura Andi, and her son is Minato Mugino, played by Soya Kurokawa. Saori angrily confronts the misconduct of Michitosi Hori, (Eito Nagayama), who is labeled a “monster.” The catch is that Minato is also called a “monster.” Monster is not used in the mythical sense, so much as to mean a person who simply shows bad behavior.

The movie begins with Minato and his mother watching a building on fire, followed by a birthday cake for Minato presented by Saori. In school the next day, Minato gets into a fight with another boy, and as a result his teacher, Mr. Hori, hits him. This sets off a series of hostile school confrontations by Saori, who is angry at the behavior of Mr. Hori. She searches for her son, who has disappeared, leaving his bike behind. In a new scene, the door to a house is opened by a small boy, followed by the class being punished. In the meantime, not all teachers are shown to be bad, as one presents Minato with a brass trumpet to play, and performs on another one herself.

In another scene, Minato runs in costume to find his classmate Yori Hoshikawa (Hinata Hiiragi), and discovers him in a bathtub. After he joins him in the tub, Minato pulls him out. He follows Minato in the rain. They climb onto a wall, and a tree falls after them. In another editing shift, this time into the sunlight, the two boys run happily in a field, following a path.

“Monster” narrates a complex story, not easy to follow, about the misadventures of Minato and his friend. His mother also plays a significant role in the film.

Information and tickets for “Monster” are available at mvfilmsociety.com.