Colossal | Third Space


The monster within or without?
Thu 19 Jan 2017

2 out of 5 stars

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win. Stephen King

Gloria (Anne Hathaway) seems to be going through a rough patch in her life. She is out of work, the party girl has been kicked out of her boyfriend’s (Dan Stevens) New York City apartment and she is coming to terms with her abuse of the bottle. With no money and support, she determines that her only option is to move back to her hometown and live in the uninhabited family home. As she struggles through this stage in life a former classmate, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), tries to give her a hand up by offering her a job at his bar. While she is trying to get her feet back on solid ground, a catastrophic event occurs in Seoul, South Korea. A giant creature appears and disappears in the Asian metropolis and reeks havoc and causes death within the population during its brief appearance. While watching this world-wide phenomenon, Gloria comes to the realisation that she has a peculiar link to the monster. As she comes to terms with this extraordinary connection and tries to determine how to protect the Korean people from future creature events, a huge robot appears and threatens the city.

Colossal proves to be unique within the realm of traditional monster film. Nacho Vigalondo delivers a fresh and humorous spin to this largely familiar genre. The concept of a super-natural connection between Anne Hathaway’s character and the city levelling monster makes for hilarious considerations and an opportunity to consider deeper psychological applications. He provides a look into the moral implications of the monster and the person who controls it. Even with some of Gloria’s dark history and her addiction, the monstrous inclusion provides an uncommon opportunity to deal with these challenging human experiences. Hathaway manages to display the necessary vulnerabilities of her character to draw pity for her while allowing the audience to laugh at her situation. With the addition of the comedic talents of Jason Sudeikis and Tim Blake (O, Brother Where Art Thou), Vigalondo sets up an exceptional comedy combination. Which leads the story down fun and a fascinating study of the effects of addiction, but then the Spanish director seems unable to bring home a satisfying conclusion.

This original concept has a few gremlins in the world that undermine the effectiveness of the production. One element that fails to lift this film's over all experience is the monster special effects. They are not good enough to be considered groundbreaking and they are not bad enough to make them qualify for campy, cult status. The heart of the film remains far for the scenes with the monsters and there was not a heavy expectation on the effects. This weakness could be pardoned if the story wrapped up well. As Gloria's backstory unfolds, there are a multitude of opportunities for consideration and potential explanations for the monsters existence. Unfortunately, Vigalondo tries to incorporate twists that have no real link to the original concept and turned it into a predictable and unfulfilling resolution. It is disappointing, because Colossal is worth seeing for the sake of experiencing a fun concept and the originality of the story, but the ending fails to support the original concept.

REEL DIALOGUE: Destruction of the world

The moral conundrum that is experienced by Anne Hathaway’s character in Colossal causes some bigger questions to be considered. What should she do when she knows she is the cause of destruction on the other side of the world?

There are two solutions for consideration. One is purely action. To do something about the situation and to communicate to others the need to fix the problem within her influence and abilities. The second would be something outside of the realm of the film. A solution that is relegated to those who have a belief in God. The consideration is to pray. Asking for help and assistance from someone that can have a supernatural influence in this scenario. Which for many would be the first choice. There are other things for people to consider, but this is a great place to start.

  1. Does the Bible have anything to say about addiction? (1 Corinthians 10:13, James 1:12-15, 4:7)
  2. How should we respond to violent acts against others? (Psalm 11:5, Matthew 5:38-39)
  3. Can we control our thoughts? (Mark 7:20-22, Philippians 4:8)

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