I love writing reviews for films like this. Movies that take my expectations, throw them back at my face, and proceed to astonish me throughout their running time. Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal is one of those movies, seamlessly fusing together a far-out premise and some thoughtful and real human experiences.
In her most raw performance in years, Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, a hard-partying woman who returns to her hometown after being kicked out by her boyfriend (Dan Stevens). She quickly reconnects with an elementary school friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who gives her a job at his bar. Meanwhile, in Seoul, a giant monster is terrorising citizens, and after a drunken haze Gloria comes to realise she may be connected to the creature.
Because I care that you go see this film, I’ll try to stay far away from spoilers. The payoff, at least for me, was well worth it.
While the idea of a monster flick of a different variety may get you into the cinema, I guarantee it’s not what’s going to keep you there or shock you the most. Colossal brings some interesting, relatable human scenarios and themes into the mix, and it’s a fine example on how to ground a big idea. Not only do we explore toxic relationships and overcoming adversity through times of hardship, but fragile male egos also takes centre stage, and comes as a huge surprise for audience members.
Hathaway has always been a favourite of mine, but I’ve never had so much fun watching her in a film. Gloria couldn’t be more messed up, and her sincerity and inner strength shine through at all the right moments, especially when faced with tough decisions. Just when you think she might bend to the will of others, she gives them hell, and it’s just one of the many reasons you’ll fall for her.
Sudeikis also gives a solid performance as the charming and kind Oscar, making a real case for himself as a dramatic actor. The change his character goes through will probably challenge you the most, but it’s best I end the observations with that comment.
Vigalondo has written and directed a highly entertaining film here, and if his future works are anywhere near this creative, I’ll be the first to line up. Colossal marks a promising step for the filmmaker, and is a worthy investment for cinema goers in every respect.