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(Review originally written at 27 October 2005)

"Monster's Ball" is a wonderful drama, made without any big budget or tricks. It's a movie with a heart and soul. In other words film-making at its very best.

To me it's a movie that is all about second chances in life. The two main characters, played by Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry, both went to some dreadful things that changed their lives. After that have to pick things up again and have to chance to do the things in their lives differently now and also look differently upon certain matters now. During this process the two are drawn towards each other but their relationship is more born out of desperateness than love. The fact that Thornton's character is the prison guard on Death Row who executed Halle Berry's husband (played by Sean Combs), makes the love even more complicated.

The movie is truly carried by the two main character played by Billy Bob Thornton and Halle Berry. Both give some powerful performances and make all the dramatic and love elements of the movie work. There also is a very strong supporting cast. Mos Def is a great actor and so is Heath Ledger. It's too bad Ledger's career never really got of the ground. After "The Patriot" everybody expected some great things from this young actor but so far he has only played in some semi-successful but not so well by the press received movies, ("The Four Feathers", "A Knight's Tale", "The Brothers Grimm".) with the exception of this movie of course.

"Monster's Ball" is a great little drama by director Marc Forster and fans of the genre must definitely watch this movie. I was impressed by this movie and had a great time watching it. Great movie!

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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