Gloria (Anne Hathaway) lives her life the only way she knows how… for herself. Ruined by alcohol and partying, she finds herself out on the street after her boyfriend (Dan Stevens) tires of her behaviour and asks her to move out of his apartment. With nowhere else to go, she returns to her childhood home and reconnects with Oscar (Jason Sudekis), her childhood friend. Meanwhile, seemingly unrelated events from across the globe involve a gigantic monster rampages through Seoul, destroying everything in it’s path. In the light of this global event, Gloria attempts to build a fresh start however she soon discovers that she has a surprising connection with the beast itself.
COLOSSAL is a fascinating film that presents itself (almost) as a kaiju monster epic but maintains the spirit of a character-driven independent drama. Simultaneously funny, dramatic and dangerous, the film is always engaging. Hathaway delivers a solid performance as the emotionally damaged Gloria but, ultimately, the most interesting role goes to Sudekis who walks the border between sweetheart and psychopath. It’s a wildly different role for him and, hopefully, will continue to lead to more dramatic parts. Admittedly, the film isn’t perfect. However, director Nacho Vigalondo emphasis on the development of its characters creates enough space for the cast to explore their characters in ways that develop our interest.
Despite the film’s global scale, the film is really centred on the relationship between the two leads and their personal journeys. In essence, Gloria’s character exists in a world where she is constantly under the control of others (her boyfriend, Oscar, even alcohol) while Oscar’s emotional state demands that he remain in control. There is a very real question at work here about what the nature of freedom and where our strength comes from to defeat the monsters in our lives. Does it come from within ourselves? Or must we rely on others? Despite the film’s unreal circumstances, Gloria’s journey feels grounded in reality as she battles her inner demons in an effort to confront the beasts on her doorstep.
Nevertheless, in COLOSSAL, the monster ultimately lies within.
To hear our roundtable conversation with stars Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudekis, click below.