Colossal was another movie that I missed while it was in theaters this year. I had a chance to see it because it was here for one week, but the schedule just did not play out. Fortunately, it arrived on iTunes and I had a chance to rent it. And I was so very happy that I did.
Gloria (Anne Hathaway) has had her share of trouble, with her boyfriend who tossed her out to alcohol. So she decided to move back to her hometown where she ran into her childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). Oscar owned his father’s old bar and he offered Gloria a job as a waitress, as well as providing her with some helpful items to live on.
Business starts to boom as the bar is filled with people wanting to watch the news coverage of the giant monster attacking Seoul, South Korea. It is not too long after the first attack that Gloria comes to the realization that she was somehow, mysteriously connected to these monster attacks.
This film really took the giant monster genre and turned it on its ear. It is very original and creative, and it embraces the weirdness of the story. It makes me think a bit about similarities with the Marvel Comics title Monsters Unleashed. Anne Hathaway is great in the role of Gloria, really bringing out the uncertainty of the situation as well as the understanding of the dangers that she is responsible for. Gloria has a distinct character arc through the film, struggling with her own inner demons at first and having that guilt and responsibility lead her to make decisions that she had to make.
Jason Sudeikis was just as wonderful here. Though there were comedic elements to the role of Oscar, the film takes a dark turn and Sudeikis handles the sinister twist with a deft touch. You understand why he does what he does and how the life that he had to live forced him to make the decisions he makes.
This movie was unexpectedly deep. Looking at the trailer and the advertising for the film, it seemed like a fun monster movie. I did not expect to have as well developed and interesting character and situations that was shown here.
The film takes a definite turn to the dark side about midway through, which was went the idea of the film switched from a monster movie to a movie dealing with alcoholism and abusive relationships. Gloria had been through plenty of trouble in her life, but this is the chance for her to redeem herself.
There are several genres blended into this film, and Colossal does that better than most. Usually when there are a lot of genres and tones in the film, it is a mess, but this film manages them beautifully. Nacho Vigalondo, the film’s director/writer, juggles those in just the right manner. It never feels jarring when the film shifts gears, even when it does so drastically.
I found myself rooting hard for Gloria to get through the events of Colossal and a big part of that is because of the strong performance from Anne Hathaway. Hathaway fit the part perfectly and she really brought a heroic note to a character that started off fairly unlikable.
Though I do not want to spoil anything, I will say that the conclusion to the movie was spot on. I thought the ending was wonderful and really showed the advancement of Gloria’s character.
I really enjoyed Colossal, and I wish I had been able to see it while it was in the theaters. Fortunately, I caught it on iTunes, but I imagine that the larger screen would have made an even greater difference in the film. This one was a lot of fun.