By Dave B.
In Colossal (2017, currently on Hulu) Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, an unemployed alcoholic who returns to her hometown after being kicked out of her boyfriend’s apartment after repeatedly lying to him and making little effort to improve her life despite promising to do so for months. She runs into Oscar (played by Jason Sudeikis), an elementary school classmate. As Oscar helps her rebuild her life, Gloria discovers that she is unconsciously manifesting and controlling a gigantic monster that is terrorizing Seoul, South Korea. Colossal is one of those movies that is likely to be more appreciated the less that a viewer knows about it before seeing it, so I’ll try to be particularly careful about what I say in this review.
Hathaway delivers a very strong performance, clearly outshining the rest of the cast (although their performances are generally solid). The dialogue in Colossal is really well-written and watching the characters engage with each other is entertaining. With a runtime of nearly two hours, the movie is a bit long, but it’s engaging throughout and the pacing is good, so bouts of boredom are not an issue.
Despite the good technical characteristics in the film, watching Colossal is like watching two entirely different, but intimately connected films. The first half is light, funny, relatively hopeful, and pretty enjoyable. Then things quickly and unexpectedly change. The second half of the film is dark, foreboding, violent, and difficult to watch at times. In short, the movie mirrors the evolution of many abusive relationships. It’s a very clever concept for how to structure a movie and it makes Colossal interesting to think about, but it doesn’t necessarily make for an extremely enjoyable movie-watching experience.
Colossal is definitely a good movie, but I hesitate to say that I enjoyed it. Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo is clearly talented. If Colossal is intended to make viewers uncomfortable, he clearly succeeds and frankly, he should be commended for it. I just personally don’t like how jarringly the movie’s tone changes, regardless of that likely being the intent. I definitely recommend Colossal, but I imagine that viewers will be pretty evenly split between those who love it and those who can’t stand it.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.