Colossal may be one of the strangest concepts I have seen in a film this year, I still have no idea how the idea came to writer/director Nacho Vigalondo. Anne Hathaway stars as Gloria, an out of work alcoholic partier who has to move back to her small town home after her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens), kicked her out. With her life a mess she runs into a childhood friend Oscar played Jason Sudeikis, who offers her a job at his bar. After a drinking session with Oscar and his buddies, Gloria wakes up to see a video on the news of a giant monsters destroying Seoul in South Korean. After a few strange coincidences Gloria discovers that she has a connection with this monster, that she is in fact the monster, but only when she steps foot in the park. It doesn’t take Gloria long to realise that in her drunken state she may have accidently killed innocent people in Seoul. This creates a turning point for her character where she identifies her flaws and aims to change them. This isn’t the only turning point to the film as it is when the films true antagonist is revealed.
The stand out of Colossal was the performances, lead by Hathaway and Sudeikis, who keep the bizarre nature of the film grounded. The two of them are talented actors in both comedy and drama, which is why the movie works as well as it did. Sudeikis is one of those actors who have the switch, where he is able to go from being a nice guy to and out right dick instantly, though unlike most of the times when he plays an arrogant dick, Colossal is where he plays a controlling dick. He has a great rapport with Anne Hathaway, who gives another great performance. Though Colossal doesn’t require her to give a dark depressing performance, she is still able to combine the humour and drama that her character requires.
I do not know what genre you would classify Colossal in. There are some light hearted and funny moments but at the same time there are some dark grounded elements that are quite depressing. The idea of alcohol and social drinking plays a big part, and how people behave when drinking. The interesting fact about this is the word alcoholic is never mentioned when referring to Gloria or Oscar, despite both of them having drinking problems. In fact the film views drinking problems more as personality issues rather than substance abuse in the case of certain characters, which is an interesting approach. It’s not the alcohol, your just a bad person sort of thing.
The weirdest thing about Colossal, besides the giant monster and robot, was the fact it feels like two different movies. I have no idea how someone could take a grounded drama about a person with alcoholism and poor life decisions and think to add in a sci-fi element with a giant monster. It isn’t until towards the end of the film that the monster really plays its purpose in Gloria’s transformation. It definitely helps throughout the movie, with Gloria able to identify the fact that she has a problem with alcohol after realising how much damage she caused when black out drunk.
Colossal is a well-made, well-acted and extremely weird film. That being said the idea of the monsters feels like it is more of a plot device rather than a strong story point, and the theme of alcoholism isn’t quite as exposed as the filmmaker possibly intended. Overall it is a decent movie that is quite enjoyable, even more so due to its ridiculous side story, and it well acted main plot.
If you feel like watching a well-acted drama that’s a little on the weird side.
Colossal scores 6.5/10
Thanks for reading my review of Colossal. Let me know your thoughts on the movie and my review in the comments below.
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