TIFF 2016: Colossal
Think all monster movies need to be big budget special effects heavy spectacles? Nacho Vigalondo’s latest film Colossal proves that the key to a good creature feature is not the monster, but the humans behind it. Gloria (Anne Hathaway) lives her life one reckless drunken night after another. Fed up with his girlfriend’s constant lies and partying, Tim (Dan Stevens) throw the unemployed Gloria out in hopes that she will snap out of her ways. With nowhere else to go, Gloria returns to her hometown to stay at her parents vacated home where she reconnects with her old childhood friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who now runs the local bar.
Continuing her partying antics with Oscar and his friends (Tim Blake Nelson and Austin Stowell), she wakes up one morning in a playground unsure of what occurred the night before. Little does she know that the entire world has been buzzing over emergence of an actual monster which attacked Seoul Korea that same night. Shocked by the horrific events occurring in Seoul, Gloria quickly realizes that there may be link between herself and the creature causing havoc halfway across the globe.
Vigalondo’s monster comedy manages to squeeze a truly innovated premise into its seemingly small frame. While other filmmakers would make the monster’s carnage the centerpiece of the film, here it feels almost secondary to the comedic character study at hand. By focusing on Gloria’s personal woes, and the consequences that come with her reckless behaviour, Vigalondo is able to ultimately construct a tale of empowerment. Colossal is not so much concerned with the visible monster, but rather the one within. Gloria is in need of growing up and part of that includes not letting her life be governed by the men in it. Providing plenty of humour and genuine fun to the proceedings, Colossal has endless charm to spare. It shows that sometimes the biggest monster is the one we never knew existed within in us.