Colossal is monster film like absolutely no other. It stars Anne Hathaway as a magazine writer who is struggling with alcoholism after being made unemployed. Her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) breaks up with her and she chooses to move home in a small Middle American town where she reunited with her childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). At the same time a giant Kaiju is appearing in and terrorising Seoul every night.
It is hard to say anymore about the film without offering big spoilers for what happens, and Colossal is certainly a film that works best with virtually no preknowledge of at all. The film hasn’t been helped by a misleading marketing campaign that portrays the films as an out and out comedy, as well spoiling a major plot point. In reality Colossal is far more a film about battling your inner demons like alcoholism or controlling and manipulative relationships than it is a comedy Kaiju film.
Writer and director Nacho Vigalondo has created such an original setting to explore these issues by wrapping them up in this science fiction vaneer. Obviously a genre mash-up like this could end up feeling a little too confused and if you can’t get the genres to mesh then it will just feel jarring. Thankfully Vigalondo makes this work for the majority of the film.
The film’s real ace in the whole though is Anne Hathaway, who absolutely manages to sell it. She gives a brilliant performance as Gloria. She brings a charm and likable edge to the character that could easily come across as unlikable due to the character’s alcoholism. Hathaway never really lets this happen, and plays Gloria’s journey beautifully. Jason Sudeikis is also excellent, particularly as the film goes on and the layers are pulled back on his character.
Overall Colossal is a film that really seems like it shouldn’t work, but somehow Nacho Vigalondo makes it work. A really powerhouse performance from Anne Hathaway, that will probably go down as one of her best, elevates it as from a Kaiju film to one about far deeper ideas.