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Movie review: Colossal

Movie review: Colossal

If you’re into mind-boggling, challenging and puzzling movies that take you on unexpected twists and turns and leave you thinking “what the actual?”, then this movie is for you.

Well scripted, well performed, well directed and well produced, I can’t fault this movie in any of these categories. The storyline however has left me baffled – I swear there was a cartoon question mark above my head as I walked out of the cinema and I’d love to sit with the writer/director, Nacho Vigalondo, and chat to him about what he was thinking, where he was going, why he chose certain elements and how he stopped himself from taking it further?

Needless to say, Colossal is presented on a completely different level. This movie will leave you dumbfounded. You might love it, you might hate it, you might not know what you just sat through.

Gloria played by Anne Hathaway is an unemployed writer in New York who lost her job a year ago and now drinks and parties to dull her pain and forget the blissful life she once had. Her boyfriend, Tim, played by Dan Stevens, has, until now, supported her financially and emotionally. Prompted by her frustrating behaviour, Tim kicks Gloria out when she stumbles home after another night on the town with tales of woe and making excuses for her tardiness. Her bags are packed and there’s no changing Tim’s mind as he’s out the door off to work. Gloria’s got to go!

Forced to move back to her hometown in New England, fictional Mainhead, Gloria takes refuge, or rather, squats, in her uninhabited and completely empty childhood home. While walking home after schlepping a blow-up mattress from the shops, she bumps into her childhood friend Oscar, played by Jason Sudeikis, who now runs his late father’s bar. Oscar takes pity on her and generously donates an old television and some furniture and also offers her a job at the bar.

Working late at a bar however does not improve Gloria’s alcoholism. At the end of each shift there’s a drinking session with Oscar and his friends which then culminates in Gloria passed out and sleeping it off on a bench near a children’s playground.

When news reports surface that a colossal monster is destroying and terrorising Seoul in South Korea, Gloria becomes aware that she is in someway linked to this crazy phenomenon (I know, right?) She shares this news with her new drinking buddies and it turns out Oscar also manifests alongside Gloria’s monster in Seoul as a giant robot (Yup!).

This, yes this, is where things start to spiral out of control.

Perhaps it’s best to watch this movie with as little background as possible so stop reading now if you don’t want the details.

In short, Gloria makes moves on Oscar’s friend, Joel (Austin Stowell). Oscar gets jealous, aggressive and confrontational. Oscar threatens Gloria. These events are simultaneously mimicked by her monster and his robot in Seoul. Tim, you remember Tim, flies into town to get Gloria back. A flashback reveals the reason for the strange incarnations of the two that pop up in South Korea. Gloria and Oscar physically fight it out a few times and finally there’s a stand-off terrifying the people of Seoul.

Sjoe! I think I got it all!

Colossal is a movie completely and utterly different from what we’re used to. Vigalondo has taken this movie to all sorts of unexpected places and, as I mentioned above, you’re really left sitting there thinking “What just happened?” Here’s a link to trailer.

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Clare Matthes

Clare is Gadget-Gal – and she’s technically amazing.

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