‘Love and Monsters’: The post-apocalyptic film that you need to watch in these trying times

Published April 20, 2021, 12:39 PM

by Rom Mallick

Post-apocalyptic lessons for our seemingly apocalyptic times

Just when the apocalypse seems closer than ever, here’s another flick to keep you grounded—er—entertained.

When you’re already living in the apocalypse, who needs a film about it? Well, “Love and Monsters” (2020) isn’t so much about the apocalypse as what comes after it—assuming anything comes after it. The point is, it’s a film you should see in your extended lockdown days and pick up a few things here and there that might just help you cope. 

So as not to spoil anything, we won’t be covering major plot points, save for the premise of the film. It’s about a world where humanity has lost its spot on the top of the food chain, being taken over by mutated insects and crustaceans that have grown larger than life, literally. People live in colonies, usually underground, safe from the ginormous creatures. 

How humanity survives in this harsh world, you can discover for yourself by watching the film. But we are sharing with you three lessons from “Love and Monsters” that might just be applicable to your own quarantine situation. 

Lesson #1: You’re good at something but not everything.

Chances are, you’ve probably found yourself trying out all sorts of things during this pandemic. You’ve probably made yourself Dalgona coffee when it was a thing, ate a bunch of ube pandesal, tried out most of the tricks on YouTube to make your ramen or ramyun a little bit different, or you might have learned a new hobby.

Thing is, by now, you have come to realize that you cannot be good at all of these new hobbies—and trying out every single new pandemic food creation can’t be good for you either. So focus on one. It’s okay. Just like Dylan O’Brien’s Joel Lawson character in the film, you can just be good at making minestrone. At that’s alright.

Lesson #2: Do not settle. 

This one comes from a little girl named Minnow (Ariana Greenblatt), whom Joel meets on his way to his girlfriend’s colony. There’s a great deal of wisdom from this advice. You might think that, okay, wow, it’s going pretty bad for the world and things might not get any better. Then you decided to give up, to “settle” for this less-than-idel “new normal” everyone seems to be shoving down our throats.

Uhm, how about a hard pass? Don’t settle. Instead, like Joel in the film, take time to learn skills you didn’t think you can. Sure, this sounds like it counters the first advice, because it does. After you realize that you cannot be good at everything, see where you’re good at and where you can improve. Then don’t settle. Be better. When all of this is over, you should come out of it as a better version of your pre-pandemic self.

Lesson #3: The eyes tell it all. 

Another piece of advice Joel learned from Minnow. The eyes tell it all. One of the biggest things the pandemic has brought into everyone’s attention is mental health. It’s no surprise that, after over a year of living in one version of a lockdown and another, a lot of people have been suffering from different kinds of mental and emotional stress. This is true not just in the Philippines but in many other parts of the world. You can see it in people’s eyes.

But what has this got to do with living life in this apocalyptic world? Well, if you learn how to read people’s dispositions by looking at them in the eyes, then maybe you can offer a much-needed word of kindness, a silent gesture of support that can go a long way to help someone who has been weighed down by this pandemic. After all, because everyone has been wearing masks outside, the only thing we see now are other people’s eyes. So be kind. It’s what most people need from you.