Movie Review: ‘Colossal’ (2016)

Review by Brylle Fajardo

Gloria (Anne Hathaway) drinks too hard and parties too much. Her boyfriend has enough of it and throws her out. Gloria returns to her hometown, dreaming of making a new start, but instead revives her childhood friendship with Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who runs a bar. After drinking a night away with Oscar and his friends, he wakes up to discover a gigantic monster rampaging through Seoul and realizes that somehow the monster is connected to her.

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In a surprisingly successful attempt, Colossal entails a refreshing take on indie comedy-dramas, being able to blend different tones from other genres— Sci-Fi, Horror, Action— you name it, and it’s got it. Yet, it still manage to feel contained and well-balanced even if it boasts much of the audacity for it to be a superb genre-bender. However, some development in its characters renders the film still, as flatly written – with the main point being Jason Sudeikis’ character Oscar, who is sadly, underdeveloped and lacking in depth. Seemingly written only for the purpose conflicting Gloria’s ideals, Sudeikis’ Oscar just never gets stressed out as a focal point even when it’s clear that he was the one who needed some intimacy as we come to a realization during the film’s latter half. Anne Hathaway’s Gloria, on the other hand, seems to take control of everything but only for the convenience of the story and the resolution of the main conflict.

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The side characters are quite pointless and mostly serve as comic relief, but nevertheless, they are deemed effective whenever they get placed side by side with Hathaway and Sudeikis. They do lack emotional depth, with writing that is destitute of psychological merit. But even with the half-baked character development, their portrayals are given more than justice, as they’d been played by competent actors. It actually becomes a reason for the viewers to somehow emotionally connect with these characters even with all the bizarre madness going on. Consequently, Vigalondo, even with his subpar fleshing-out of characters, does reach gargantuan heights through his masterful direction and execution that spills out his creativity. Stylized filmmaking and editing is apparent all throughout, particularly with the Kaiju-like monster and playground scenes which showcases a special kind of humor that is a perfect fit for its themes.

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Surprisingly, even with a limited budget, Vigalondo manages to bring forth neat visuals and effects that entertain and astound much to our liking. Colossal does not feel enormous (pun intended), and neither does it attempt to be. Its is a vanilla story of a woman going through a mid-life crisis, and a man drowning in his insecurities. It is just coated by a phantasmic milieu, which could be surmised as an attempt to bring something new to the table. Even when the central-drama doesn’t work out as smoothly as it desires, it still stands tall as an inventive, funny, and refreshing picture that you just won’t find anywhere else.

Rating:

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Colossal is now showing in Philippine cinemas from Solar Pictures Entertainment.

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