Colossal problems sometimes have small solutions.

Colossal [2016]

Directed by: Nacho Vigalondo

Written by: Nacho Vigalondo

Anne Hathaway (Gloria)
Jason Sudeikis (Oscar)
Austin Stowell (Joel)
Tim Blake Nelson (Garth)
Dan Stevens (Tim)

Gloria is an out-of-work girl who has a drinking problem with wastrel friends and no self-control at all. Needless to say, her boyfriend finally has enough and kicks her out of the New York flat she shares with him. With no job and no one to live with, Gloria heads back to her old hometown. Soon after hooking up with some old school friends news flashes worldwide that a giant creature is destroying the South Korean city of Seoul. Not long after it is brought to Gloria’s attention that she has some connection to the monster, it mirrors all of her movements if she stands in the local park play-area. What appears to be fun turns darker and spirals out of control. How can the actions of a drunken woman in the middle of nowhere affect so many people’s lives halfway across the world? What does it mean?

This ain’t an Ann Hathaway romantic comedy.

This ain’t a Jason Sudeikis wacky comedy.

This ain’t a Kaiju monster film.

Therein lies the rub with Colossal. Surely half of the audience who watched this film was expecting one of those types of films?

Truth be told it all depends on one what you like from your film-viewing. There’s a chance you might love this but also equally you could hate it, really it is that polarising.

There is no doubt the film is absurd and downright strange but along with Ann Hathaway, this is the strong points. You probably have not seen a film like this.

Both Hathaway and Sudeikis are primarily playing against type although perhaps at the beginning you would be forgiven for not thinking so.

Their characters are trapped by drink, lack of ambition and their overall poor character. Hathaway’s Gloria is gloriously useless and full of self-pity as she seems to gravitate to late night’s and drink at the drop of a hat. Sudeikis’ Oscar is a different barrel of fish, seemingly wholesome and friendly the longer things don’t pan out the way he thinks they should the darker more mean side of his nature, that has always been there, takes over. It’s an interesting study in the margins of society and how minor personality flaws can turn into major monsters that stomp their way through your life – oh see what happened there? That’s what this film is about with the metaphor made real – not particularly subtle but fun without any doubt.

Nacho Vigalondo shows in this film how he has a handle of the banality of being a shoddy average person in the modern world and how the slightest tipping of the balance can destroy anyone’s world. In a small way it reminded me of David Lynch in its outlook, with average, normal, Americana stripped back showing itself as ugly and mean and it is always only a layer away from being exposed.

Certainly there are laughs throughout the film, genuine laughs at funny moments, laughs at the stupidity of what you see and laughs at the absurdity in front of you – but it can not really be described as a comedy.

Colossal is interesting, fun and different. It is well acted, well directed and is trying to say something interesting in a way that you possibly have not seen before.

Finally, it has a great ending, not quite up there with Alan Parker’s Birdy but close. For the record, I’m on the ‘really liked it’ side of the equation.

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