One way to look at Monster is by assuming that it’s targeted at kids and family audiences. After all, it’s been years since we had a movie exclusively for kids ( Naaigal Jaakirathai comes to the mind). If that was the case, Monster works — only partially, though. The film opens with a young Anjanam Azhagiya Pillai (SJ Suryah, in a light-hearted role), a Vallalar follower who practices the precept of not harming any living creature. This is what MK Gandhi professed all his life. Okay, let’s not get political.
When Pillai looks at an ant floating in a water pot, he gently scoops it using a leaf and releases it elsewhere. Cut to the present, Azhagiya Pillai is a 30-something and works with the Electricity Department. He’s single and no one wants to marry him. Reason? He doesn’t own a house. AzhagiyaPillai gets rejected yet again…this time by Mekala (Priya Bhavani Shankar), who would eventually fall in love with him. The initial scenes — boy-meets-girl, followed by a comedy track featuring Karunakaran — can easily be overlooked. That leaves us with the actual drama, when Azhagiya Pillaigets a pricey apartment. Here’s the twist, the house is haunted by a...rodent, which does everything it can to get rid of him.
The premise — about a rodent making an interesting comment about coexistence — looks delicious on paper, but very few ideas get translated on screen. For, Monster is stretched to a point where the scenes written around Azhagiya Pillai and the rat make it convenient for the audience to care less about the movie. The writing is redundant, and the tricks that seemed inventive at first, are reduced to gimmickry. And the sub-plot about a diamond smuggler isn’t convincing and if you remove these portions, it makes no difference to the script.
The bits involving the rodent are genuinely funny (for instance, it devours rusk biscuits) and makes you wonder as to how good Monster could have been. But the film is uneven for the most part, making it an average watch.