have never seen a kaiju movie like this before. For one thing, it is the city
of Seoul that gets devastated over and over again, rather than Tokyo. In
addition, two small town losers might somehow bear some responsibility for the
carnage. Rest assured, alcohol is most definitely involved in Nacho Vigalondo’s
Colossal (trailer here), which screens
during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.
hard-partying, unemployed Gloria assumed she would be a New Yorker for life
until her exasperated boyfriend Tim evicts her from his tony apartment. Rather
depressingly, Gloria is forced to crash on the floor of her family’s old
provincial home, where she has not lived in since elementary school. However,
good old torch-carrying Oscar still recognizes his long-time crush and offers
her a job at his bar. Obviously, this is a problematic source of employment for
her, but Gloria still is not ready to grow up and be responsible.
late afternoon-early evening, Gloria wakes up to news reports of a giant kaiju
terrorizing Seoul. A few days later, the monster returns to wreak more havoc.
Coincidentally, both rampages coincide with all-night benders that stretched
into the not-so early morning—8:05 AM to be precise. Realizing the connection,
Gloria starts to sober up. However, when she drags Oscar and the town’s Norm
and Cliff to witness her power via the internet an Ultraman-like giant robot
suddenly also appears.
a good Nacho Vigalondo film, Colossal takes
a dark turn around the midway point, but it is always deeply rooted in human
flaws and weaknesses. Frankly, Vigalondo is really building on the themes and
symbolism of classical tragedy—we all remember “jealousy is the green-eyed
monster,” right? Yet, the film has an appealingly grungy feel.
also showcases Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis like you have never seen them
before. In this case, Sudeikis, the former Saturday
Night Live cast-member is actually funny, but he also convincingly veers into
Jack Torrance territory during the third act. However, Hathaway gives a tour de
force performance as the boozy self-sabotaging Gloria. Forget Les Mis. Forget Rachel Getting Married. This is the film that really shows her
Without question, this is the most intimate, character-driven
kaiju film you will ever hope to see. It is often addresses emotional issues
with brutal honesty, but it is also a ton of fun. Once again, it reconfirms
Vigalondo is one of the best (and least predictable) genre filmmakers working
today. Very highly recommended, Colossal screens
again tonight (1/21) and tomorrow night (1/22) in Park City, as part of this
Labels: Anne Hathaway, Nacho Vigalondo, Sundance '17