Colossal stars Anne Hathaway as Gloria, an irresponsible young woman in her thirties who has a habit for drinking and partying. Gloria is kicked out of her Manhattan apartment by her boyfriend after she fails to come home one night after spending some time out drinking with her friends. Her ex-boyfriend Tim (played by Dan Stevens) even gives her a lecture about personal responsibility before her tells her to grab her bags and get out.
Penniless and out of a job, she is forced to leave New York and move back to her hometown where she takes refuge in her parent's old house which has been sitting empty for years. It is while she is walking back into town that she stumbles across her old childhood friend, Oscar (played by Jason Sudeikis). Oscar runs a local bar in town and is quick to offer her a job and financial and emotional support.
Gloria eagerly accepts. She knows she is not doing the best job of being an adult and needs all the help she can get. On her first night in her new place, she purchases an air mattress and tries to get it set up but is so drunk she ends up falling asleep leaning against the wall instead. Gloria ends up spending her days working at Oscar's bar and her nights drinking until late with his friends.
Anne Hathaway is the happy, down on her luck party girl Gloria
After one night of drinking, she takes a short cut home through a park. She wakes up the next morning to see news reports of that a giant monster stomped through Seoul, South Korea last night. Gloria gradually comes to the realisation that she has a mysterious connection to the monster. 'It' is her avatar and its late night stomps through Seoul are actually her stumbling home drunk each night through the local park.
An immature person by nature, Gloria thinks the situation is amusing at first. But when a giant Robot joins her other self in Seoul, the situation changes from quirky science fiction comedy to something a lot darker.
What I liked about this film was how it blurred the lines between genres and kept the audience guessing. At the start of the film, when Gloria meets Oscar, the set up between the two characters feels a lot like a typical romantic comedy but then things change and the film goes in a completely different direction.
I was surprised by the strong feminist message in the film. Gloria is a woman who does what she pleases and that frustrates the men in her lives, who think she doesn't act how a woman is supposed to act.
Jason Sudeikis is fantastic as Oscar, the classic "nice guy" who feels entitled to a lot of things in life and gets frustrated when he cannot get what he wants. When Gloria moves back into town, he is so excited to see her again he stops his car in the middle of the road and shouts her name.
He is quick to become involved in her life again. He gives her a job, a couch, a television and then an entire truck full of furniture. But all of these acts of kindness come with a price. Oscar wants Gloria for himself and when it becomes clear that she is not interested in him, his attitude towards her changes and he becomes violent and possessive.
One scene that stood out to me was when Gloria was so repulsed at the idea of sleeping on the couch that Oscar had given her, she chose to wrap herself up in her busted air mattress and sleep on the floor instead. It was broken, but it was hers god damn it!
Director Nacho Vigalondo has created a film that takes the monster movie genre and completely rewrites it. I went into Colossal expecting a science fiction film about a woman who shares a strange connection with a monster on the other side of the world. I didn't expect to be a movie about misogyny and toxic masculinity and a woman who loses her power and then finds it again. It was a pleasant surprise.
Why? If you are tired of watching the same cliches and tropes in cinema again and again then you will love Colossal which blurs the lines between romantic comedy, fantasy and science fiction and flips tropes on their heads.