Colossal is a film that came out of nowhere for me, I saw some reviews and when I saw it was going to be released in the UK I needed to check it out. People who complain about cinematic universe fatigue and feel there isn’t enough original ideas being turned into films then released need to go and see this film. There is plenty of original content being released throughout every year, but no one sees them. So Just support fun and original ideas, take the risk. But anyway, it is directed by Nacho Vigalondo (glad I don’t have to pronounce that); stars Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis as Gloria and Oscar respectively. Gloria moves back to her home town to try and sort her life out. This is where she discovers she has an odd connection to a huge monster which is destroying Seoul: whilst dealing with her drinking problem, being broke, her ex and Oscar who seems to have feelings for her.
Like I said, this film is beautifully original. It is an example of pure creativity flowing and for most of the film, it works. The twist is used incredibly well, it becomes something much much more than a quirky little thing. It becomes about Gloria overcoming issues, finding inner strength and someone having the confidence to rise above her issues. It is very endearing, funny and almost believable. Along with the twist, the film also gives you a unique view of a monster movie. How a gargantuan monster killing thousands of people can affect people, even if it is on the other side of the world. This is very interesting, it is something that we haven’t really seen before. This is a film about the character seen in the obligatory montage of people sat in front of the TV watching the news in horror.
Something that is also done well is the juxtaposition of the two main story threads, a huge monster rampaging through south Korea and then we just have Gloria working in a bar, trying to sort her life out in a small town. The second of those story lines is refreshingly simple, in fact I’m not even sure you know what town it is set in, all the characters only have a first name (there isn’t even any listed anywhere on the internet). Yes, it may be a bit cliched but it does also does take a dark twist towards the end of the film and I feel this would be a very serviceable romantic dramedy-ish film. The other half of the film is probably a little bit less well handled, the CGI is actually surprisingly decent for a small and $15 million budgeted film. The ultimate explanation of the whole film sort of feels like they came up with this amazing idea, then made the film and then were like ‘dammit how do we explain this, ummmm I dunno just chuck some wind and lightening in there then we’ll just improvise’. It feels a bit cheap, I just sort of felt like ‘really? That’s what you’re going with’. However, that didn’t really ruin the film for me at all, it took me out of it for a couple minutes but then I’m back to being locked in.
Anne Hathaway is great in the film, I’m not sure that I’ve seen her in a film since The Dark Knight Rises in which she is one of my favourite parts. I’ve seen her pop up in a few trailers but the films have never really jumped out at me. But in this film, she shines playing very troubled character very well. The biggest surprise to me was Jason Sudeikis, he plays a multi-layered character and pulls it off completely. You go on an emotional rollercoaster with his character and feel sympathy for him every step of the way. The one weak link for me in the cast in Dan Stevens, coming off the incredible ‘Legion’, he plays the most cliched character I have seen in a while. He’s the archetypal English guy who is a bit of dick but deep down he really loves Gloria. I found his delivery incredibly stale and wooden throughout the film.
To sum it all up, this is definitely the most unique film I have seen in a while and that needs to be celebrated but apart from that it is a simple film. The balance between the two films that are colliding doesn’t always work but mostly they interweave well. This isn’t the best film of the year but it is a film that needs to be seen but it is…