It’s undoubtable that this film will fly under the radar, especially being out at the cinema at the same time as the likes of Alien: Covenant (2017) and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017), and with Wonder Woman (2017) and The Mummy (2017) just around the corner. It’s safe to say that a lot of people will either overlook it, or not even know it was a thing. While certainly not the greatest film of its kind, it is definitely worth a look. Focusing mainly on and overcoming abuse, first alcohol, then moving to physical and emotional abuse.
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo (Open Windows (2014)), and starring Anne Hathaway (Interstellar (2014)), Jason Sudeikis (Horrible Bosses (2011)), Austin Stowell (Whiplash (2014)), Time Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), and Dan Stevens (Beauty and the Beast (2017). Colossal follows Gloria (Hathaway), an alcoholic, recently fired from her writing job, and kicked out by her boyfriend Tim (Stevens), as she moves back home in an attempt to get her life together. While living alone in her families old home, in a small town, she runs into Oscar (Sudeikis), a bar owner and childhood friend of Gloria’s. He offers to show her round town, and ends up drinking late into the night with her and his two long-time friends, Joel (Stowell) and Garth (Nelson). In the morning, after drunkenly stumbling home, she awakens to discover a colossal, indescribably creature, had suddenly appeared above the city of Seoul, South Korea, caused monumental damage, and then suddenly disappeared moments later. Shocked by the news, the incident repeats itself the next day. Discovering there is a pattern with the creatures appearance, always appearing at the exact same time, Gloria begins to notice similar habits and tendencies between herself and the creature. After a few more days of experimentation, Gloria discovers that herself, and the creature, are indeed one and the same.
From here, there is little that can be said, plot wise, without giving away massive spoilers. The film carries with it, through out, and exceedingly dark comedy tone, breaking every now and then for moments of intense emotional anguish. The uses the more obvious allegories of giant monsters as stand ins for our inner demons, to an outstanding degree. The films uses its creatures well, clearly as part of its lower indie budget, never showing them for too long, but the weight of their impact is still felt, either through the films sound design, or the actor’s phenomenal reactions. One particularly impactful scene takes place entirely in a children’s play area, involving just two characters, but the weight of the monsters actions off screen is entirely felt and almost heart breaking.
Anne Hathaway gives a wonderfully believable performance, comfortable when even needing to embarrass herself while acting drunk, or crying profusely. However, the standout actor of the film, is Jason Sudeikis, giving a phenomenal performance, regardless of the tone needed, and playing a deeply torn and complex character. Together, they bring a lot of credibility to the films, admittedly, absurd premise. At no point do you feel the film takes it too far, it remains engaging throughout, and tries its hardest to remain engaging.
While it’s tempting to skip this release, especially given the major Hollywood blockbusters currently exploding at the box office. Colossal is more than worth your time, providing a fun, engaging and emotional experience, even with a selling point as odd as ‘Anne Hathaway starring in an indie, Kaiju movie’.