Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, a jobless writer kicked out of her boyfriend’s apartment after one boozy night too many. Returning to her home town, she meets up with childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), and tries to find a plan for her life while working in his bar. Things get complicated, however, when she discovers she can remotely control a mysterious monster that appears and attacks Seoul every time she walks through a playground at a particular time in the morning. With Oscar displaying similar powers, she must unravel this mystery, and her own problems, before more lives are lost.
Colossal could very easily have been a standard low-fi indie drama, with Hathaway as the burned-out city girl returning home to learn what’s important. This is not that indie drama – indeed, it’s unlike any film you will see this year. Mixing themes of alcoholism and unfulfilled dreams with a ludicrously high concept, the different elements tie together surprisingly well. We find ourselves with something that has the familiarity and depth of a small town drama, with the stakes of classic Godzilla movie. As hard as it is to imagine, grown adults stomping around a playground provides some of the most dramatic moments.
Also key to what makes the film so compelling is Hathaway, whose performance is intriguingly layered. While she starts off as a screw-up, the lost person beneath is always visible, which makes for a protagonist that’s easy to root for. She’s far from perfect, but her often hilarious eccentricities are endearing, making the effects heavy ending incredibly satisfying. It’s a shame that the same nuance wasn’t present in Sudeikis, whose character flips from one extreme to another with few shades of gray. He provides an interesting sounding board for Hathaway, but becomes quite one note by the third act (second only to Dan Stevens’ incredulous ex-boyfriend).
Niggles aside, a combination of fresh thinking and a great cast make for a film that sits in the No Man’s Land between microbudget indie and bloated blockbuster. A film that takes the best parts of several genres and finds something new. In a landscape crammed with superhero universes, remakes, reboots and rehashes, the mere existence of something as unusual as Colossal is a positive thing for cinema.
|What||Colossal, film review|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
19 May 17 – 19 Jul 17, Times vary
|Price||£Determined by cinema|
|Website||Click here for more information|