In Patty Jenkins’ Monster, the viewer is given a completely different story of Aileen Wuornos. In this way, cinema is able to provide a different viewpoint on a certain matter, unlike the media coverage and its manufacture of a set opinion. Vividly put story in Monster is an attempt to make the audience more empathetic towards an individual. In her film, with the use of themes of crime alienation, Patty Jenkins focuses on displaying the motives and their consequences, instead prescribing the moral categories of good and bad to an individual. As the story begins, we see Aileen (played by Charlize Theron) and her gradual social decline through becoming a hooker.
She finds herself on the sidelines of life, partially struggling with acceptance of the reality. In several episodes Aileen is pictured as a normal and a common person who has her dreams and hopes – in the first scenes, we see her as a child standing in front of the mirror and dreaming about growing up into the life that she was showed on the TV. This suggests how critically the reality of living can destroy the romanticized version of it.
As it was noted by the critics, “There are no excuses for what she [Aileen] does, but there are reasons, and the purpose of the movie is to make them visible” (Ebert 2004). We learn about the background story and the motives that led the protagonist into becoming a serial killer. For instance, we see her trying, even after many years of financial and emotional struggle, to still find her place in the society, to become a member of the community as much as everybody else.
Yet she becomes rejected and ridiculed over and over again, as she tries to find a job and make her living in a legal, ethically acceptable way. In my opinion, this alone shows how inaccurate it is to hold responsible only an individual for the acts. We need to realize that community involves everybody, and by virtually excluding someone we only contribute to cultivating a problem.In the course of the storyline, we observe the metamorphosis that Aileen undergoes. She starts as a victim of circumstances, but ends up becoming the one who takes control of her fate and begins to dictate the rhythm. The film provides us with a lighted up vision of what it’s like to be a victim, of what it’s like to be powerless. In the scene with a policeman, we learn how easy it is for a policeman to abuse his authority and power, while morally justifying it.
The turning point for Aileen’s change is the episode with rape. By killing the perpetrator in self-defense Aileen liberates herself from the toll of being a prey. Now she’s the one who’s on a hunt. However, at this point, her position is determined by the horrible event that happened to her.Yet the director of the film doesn’t allow for audience to believe that Aileen’s life is one-sided. As soon as she meets …