“What do you call a monster with sharp teeth and claws?”

You’ll have to watch “Martha the Monster”, the short 2019 film to find out the punchline. Written and directed by Christopher Weekes, it’s a weird metaphorical film set in a world where humans and monsters co-exist, but the latter are second-class citizens. Martha lives in a ‘monsters only’ neighborhood and struggles to make her mark in a world where the rules are made by humans. Her kind is representative of all minority communities that are terrorized by the ruling class.

Voiced by Rose Byrne, Martha is an interesting protagonist, who aspires to be a stand-up-comic, but unfortunately isn’t very funny. The character designs are slightly bizarre, which makes the story seem darker and scarier than it is.

While Martha doesn’t feel real, her isolation and insecurities are grounded in reality. She struggles with body issues, tries too hard to ‘fit in’ and viewers can feel the suffocation she experiences in just the 15 minute runtime of the short film. And if humans aren’t bad enough, Martha also has to face harassment from her own kind.

You can watch the film on YouTube. It’s a 6/10 from me.

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