Colossal is… discombobulating to say the least
Outrageously bizarre. That’s perhaps one of the most accurate ways to summarize Nacho Vigalondo’s new film Colossal, which premiered on September 9 at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The humorously dark film stars Anne Hathaway as Gloria, an unemployed writer who parties and drinks so much that her boyfriend kicks her out and she is forced to return to her parent’s small town, empty home.
While she is supposedly trying to get her life together, she discovers a wacky connection between her and a giant monster that has been destroying the capital of South Korea. As she reconnects with a childhood friend (Jason Sudeikis), who gives her a job at his bar, they realize that he also has the ability to be a monster in Seoul (except he is an oversized robot, not a Godzilla-looking creature).
The imagination used in Colossal makes it weirdly successful and intriguing to watch. However, to market this film as a silly rom com monster movie would be misleading. The film touches on a lot of difficult topics such as alcoholism, domestic abuse, and power struggles.
Since both main characters are heavy drinkers, Colossal seems to be conveying the obvious life lesson that substance abuse can bring out the literal monster within, but it actually evolves into a strong representation of feminism opposing a psychopathic, ultra-masculine, egocentric man who hates himself. At times the confrontations can be hard to watch, but it is almost all worth it once you make it to the very unconventional ending.
The cheesy acting and ridiculous dramatizations seem to make light of these alarming topics throughout the film, but it does (in an off-putting, uncomfortable kind of way) make the audience pay attention to these issues with its effective plot twists and captivating strangeness.
Photo Credit: TIFF