Anne Hathaway has spearheaded this unique, genre-bending film written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo in which she and Jason Sudeikis star. Combining biting humor with dramatic horror, “Colossal” brings us into the psyche of two friends, Gloria and Oscar, from childhood. How powerful is our mind? “Colossal” answers that question in epic proportions as these two fight for survival.
Gloria (Hathaway) is a party girl, living or should I say, sponging off of her successful boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) until one day, he has had enough and kicks her out. With just a sac on her back, appearing a bit like a hobo, she returns to her hometown to live in her parents’ abandoned house. Resolving to quit drinking and partying, she runs into her old chum Oscar (Sudeikis) who runs a local family tavern. As the two reconnect, a horrific event occurs half-way around the world in Seoul, Korea. Eventually, she determines there’s a connection, but is it too late? Wrestling the demons from within prove to be just as difficult as the ones that stand before her on the playground from her past.
“Colossal” is one of the most unexpectedly ingenious films of recent past. While it has the elements of a good, old-fashioned monster story, stomping buildings and scattering pedestrians, it also incorporates the most deeply human internal conflict imaginable into the story. Initially, it feels like an ordinary break-up/love story, but I can assure you it is anything BUT that! Gloria and Oscar appear to be old buddies, particularly as Oscar shows her his chivalrous side, helping in any way that he can. But he is much more complicated, as is Gloria, both carrying so much baggage from their past. We get to know these two, their history, and who they truly are all the while attempting to find out how they are connected to the beast wreaking havoc in Korea.
The story finds a way to incorporate horror, drama, and comedy that on the surface, the horror seems preposterous, and it is. However, the writing and acting is so captivating that you forget that this could never actually happen. It’s a film that you are happy to suspend all belief and just sit back and enjoy. Initially, you’re perplexed about how and why the events are occurring, but like a puzzle, all the pieces become apparent and you have fun putting it all together. It’s laugh-out-loud funny one moment, and thoughtfully sad the next. And then you’re jumping in your seat and gasping at what has just occurred. It’s truly an innovate and well-rounded story.
While the script is quite original, the acting is equally as inspired as we see both of these big name Hollywood stars in roles like never before. It’s refreshing to see a female lead that is strong and independent, but has gotten there by way of a very bumpy road. Sudeikis shines in this dark, very dark, role. We all knew he could do comedy and if you’ve seen “The Book of Love,” you knew he easily creates a dramatic role, but his portrayal of Oscar is seriously dark and he relishes in it.
Hathaway lit the fire to start this film and her spark and energy are captured in her role, all the while being 15 weeks pregnant. Talking with Hathaway at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival revealed that she believed in the script and in Vigalondo. She is an advocate of female-centered films and said, “If you want to see more women in movies, support the movies that have women in them. I try to do my part be getting them made and hopefully making them fun to watch.” From this reviewer’s perspective, she has succeeded.
“Colossal” is such a sheer joy to watch as you become engrossed in every character and what motivates them. Hathaway and Sudeikis give us unusual performances allowing us to see another side of these talented actors. Under the keen direction of Vigalondo, “Colossal” creates a new genre of film with a female in the lead. Now, that’s a giant leap forward!
For the interview with Hathaway, Sudiekis, and Vigalondo go to http://www.reelhonestreviews.com/?p=3824
For TIFF coverage from RHR, go to FLM