Colossal movie review
In Colossal, Nacho Vigalondo uses the indie cult monster movie genre to explore the relationship between two alcoholics, battling themselves and each other whilst oblivious to, or positively seeking out, the pain they’re causing to those around them. It’s an interesting concept and an engaging and quirky movie, and one that has kept me thinking for about a week now about what it all meant! The title, I believe, refers to the scale of the battle alcoholics have in conquering their addiction.
Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is a writer in New York. Her drinking and partying leads her to lose her job and her boyfriend, and consequently her place to live. With no income, she is forced to return to her smalltown home. As she arrives, she is reacquainted with a former school friend Oscar – actually that’s the second movie I’ve seen in a week where the villain of the piece is named Oscar/Oskar.. something to investigate – also an alcoholic, and the owner of a local bar. Oscar holds a bit of a flame for Gloria, and invites her to work in his bar. What could go wrong…
Well, a lot actually. On the night Gloria starts working at the bar, a mysterious and enormous Godzilla-like monster careers around downtown Seoul leaving a wake of death and destruction in it’s path. The monster reappears each day, and slowly Gloria starts to realise that she is controlling the monster – or that she is actually the monster – out of control and oblivious, creating havoc and pain and never looking down to understand the impact she’s having.
After Gloria sleeps with one of Oscar’s friends, a huge robot starts to appear in Seoul, and starts to fight with the monster. The robot – the tin man, if you will, is Oscar – he’s emotionless and much more in control of his addiction than Gloria is – working in a bar means he is able to mask the problem. He is calculating and, as the movie develops we come to understand that he is actually psychopathic. When he turns up in Seoul he isn’t accidentally destroying buildings and killing people, he is doing it deliberately in much the same way as we see, in a flashback to their school days, he deliberately destroys Gloria’s school project.
Understanding, perhaps, that she no longer wants to be the monster, Gloria cleans up her act and decides that she wants her old life back. But first she needs to destroy the robot…
As an exploration of addiction, Colossal is a little thin, but the metaphors of the monster and the robot add an interesting perspective to the problem, and it’s an entertaining and quirky movie. Our verdict: 9/10.