Rodrigo Plá’s A Monster With a Thousand Heads is a brisk, frank film about survival and healthcare. We’re thrown right into the narrative and Plá and screenwriter Laura Santullo are right to give little exposition. Two characters love each other (established via two quick, tender scenes) and that’s enough for the tension and drama to come.
Plá’s film is largely static except when the camera is in or on a car; his frames are kind of vague – he often avoids the main action at hand, or frames it out of focus, or on the fringes.
There are times when the main action is out of focus and in the background, and what could be a crucial reaction shot is withheld in other ways:
Negative space functions pretty regularly in here, and I feel like we spend a lot of A Monster With a Thousand Heads searching the frame for what’s most important (especially in this third one below). Plá doesn’t always give us the typical clues:
There are almost no wide-shots in the film, and those that there are-
-establish things we already know (in this case, that the characters are alone).
I loved this frame for focus. I actually felt myself searching for what was sharp. It took me a good 10 seconds to find the reflection, frame right: