Premiering at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Colossal is an original take on the monster genre
Colossal is, at its core, a monster movie. But it doesn’t take long for the film to break away from the conventional monster shtick and veer off in a totally unpredictable direction. It is directed by Nacho Vigalondo and stars Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis.
When a gigantic monster appears out of thin air in the heart of downtown Seoul, the world watches helplessly as it destroys everything in its path. The United Nations calls for an international ceasefire of global conflict while the world’s brightest minds convene to decipher what it is they are facing.
With the world watching and holding their collective breaths waiting for the monster’s next attack, washed-up party girl Gloria (Hathaway) notices something odd: she can somehow control the monster on its inadvertent destructive path. Gloria’s shock is quickly overtaken by guilt at the loss of life that she is somehow, inexplicably, responsible for.
When she finally realizes she is at the helm of all this havoc, she tells her childhood friend Oscar (Sudeikis). Together, they have fun making the monster dance and fool around, confusing the millions glued to their televisions watching.
The tone during the first part of the film is light-hearted, in line with your run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. But it quickly takes on an unexpected dark tone for the second half.
The film’s strongest assets are its characters, their development and their relationship with one another. While Gloria slowly lifts herself out of the darkness of her old habits and alcoholic tendencies, Oscar embraces his vices, slowly allowing them to take over.
Colossal can’t be classified in any one genre. It flows between comedy, science-fiction, action and drama in a fluid manner that leaves audiences on their toes and unsure of what to expect. It is this unpredictability that makes the story so gripping. At times, it is extremely funny while, at others, immeasurably dark.
The monster might be the obvious villain, but in reality, it is a projection of smaller, internal conflicts that have snowballed into bigger issues. Opening in theaters in April, Colossal is an original movie with stellar performances by Hathaway and Sudeikis.