Colossal

Brandon Richardson | 13/04/2017

Nacho Vigolondo’s Colossal delivers an endearing and enjoyable film that even comes across genuine and relatable, despite its truly farcical premise.

Colossal follows Gloria (Anne Hathaway) an unemployed writer who’s heavy drinking and party-going ways have her out of favour with boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens). To get her life back on track, she moves back to her hometown and quickly runs into old school-pal Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). Oscar is more than happy to help out and, unaware of her drinking problem, invites her to work at his bar. Shortly after Gloria’s move, the world is rocked by news that a giant Kaiju monster is attacking Seoul. All of a sudden, Gloria’s problems seem miniscule in comparison, but it is not long before she realises she and Oscar have a strange connection to the horrifying events occurring on the other side of the world.

 

It starts off with a thrilling introduction of the Kaiju, complete with a melodramatic orchestral soundtrack. The title card plays, and viewers who are unaware of what they are getting into might think they have sat down to a bootlegged version of Pacific Rim. However, the film swiftly transitions to some establishing shots of New York and a hungover Gloria sneaking through the front door of Tim’s apartment, with some smartly written and well executed dialogue that has a true Romantic Comedy feel. Immediately, this instructs the viewer to let go of any preconceived ideas about either genre and to prepare themselves for something truly unique. There are several moments like this where you think you know what path the film is heading down only to have that path torn from underneath your feet. Vigolondo keeps you wanting more by tying this all in with well-crafted and amusing dialogue and staggered exposition about what is really going on.

 

Another of the films strengths is the performance turned in by its star cast. Sudeikis and Stevens both play their characters with aplomb, and craft them into exactly what the film needs them to be. Sudeikis utilises his sharp wit and tasteful sarcasm to deliver plenty of laughs, but also shows a more serious side when the character calls for it. Stevens gives off just the right amount of charm to make him seem reasonable even when he is playing the ex-boyfriend. Yet, both of their performances pale in comparison to Hathaway’s portrayal of Gloria, who really steals the show. She makes Gloria seem deplorable but funny, selfish but compassionate, delivered in a way that seems so genuine that it makes the character largely relatable. When you consider that this is a story about a drunken girl discovering she controls a Kaiju on the other side of the globe, then you realise that this relatability is quite remarkable.

Another of the films strengths is the performance turned in by its star cast. Sudeikis and Stevens both play their characters with aplomb, and craft them into exactly what the film needs them to be. Sudeikis utilises his sharp wit and tasteful sarcasm to deliver plenty of laughs, but also shows a more serious side when the character calls for it. Stevens gives off just the right amount of charm to make him seem reasonable even when he is playing the ex-boyfriend. Yet, both of their performances pale in comparison to Hathaway’s portrayal of Gloria, who really steals the show. She makes Gloria seem deplorable but funny, selfish but compassionate, delivered in a way that seems so genuine that it makes the character largely relatable. When you consider that this is a story about a drunken girl discovering she controls a Kaiju on the other side of the globe, then you realise that this relatability is quite remarkable.

 

Perhaps one of the areas where the film is let down is that, despite the characters being relatable, they aren’t all that likeable. In a way, the story calls for the characters to be as such, but it may leave them out of favour with some viewers and, at the very least, dissipate some the emotional impact towards the end of the film. There are a few moments where the story is really only kept going by Gloria’s apparent inability to think of a simple solution to her problem, but these can be looked over in the wider context of just how ridiculous the film is. Even the quirkiness of the film itself is sure to put viewers who aren’t willing to accept it offside from the start. However, for those willing to let their mind run free for 110 minutes, this unique film will surely be memorable

Conclusion

Colossal is truly remarkable and one-of-a-kind film. Nacho Vigolondo has given us a movie that is sometimes thrilling, frequently hilarious, and surprisingly emotional, and carefully blended it all together to leave the viewer constantly intrigued, provided you can get past how fanciful the concept is.