I can just imagine how Colossal read like on paper: “A wayward New York City party girl turned straight-up alcoholic subconsciously conjures up a 1000 ft. Godzilla-like creature in the middle of South Korea’s biggest metropolis that obliterates everything it touches.” This is a weird, hipster-tinged stroke of camp character-study genius. It’s stupid, it’s beautiful, it’s cathartic, transitioning from an awkward indie rom-com into a full-blown disaster film.
Recently dumped and kicked out of her apartment by her boyfriend, Gloria (Played by Hathaway) is forced to move back into her parent’s old home, tucked away from the rest of civilization. Down in the dumps and in need of some company, she soon reconnects with Oscar (Played by Jason Sudeikis), a well-meaning small town bar-back/former childhood rival of hers. Enter Lizard, wandering around Seoul, South Korea, destroying buildings and mortifying civilians.
Hathaway, part Andy Sachs part Kym ala Rachel Getting Married carries the film in casual self-deprecating fashion as a former elementary school genius that never truly lived up to her potential. She was smart, apparently, but after a serious of twists and turns fell into a dark spiral that landed her into a life of perpetual failure. This theme is concurrent with Sudeikis’s character as well; Oscar wrestles with his own personal demons as he holds on to unrequited grudges of the past.
As far as character progression goes, Colossal oddly works, delivering a strangely heartfelt moral as the film draws to a close. But everything else pretty much makes no sense. The monster storyline, specifically, won’t give you everything you need. Vigalondo doesn’t help you connect the dots so much as give you a series of badass scenes to distract you from the evident plot holes in the screenplay. That said, you can’t go into a film like Colossal expecting a clearly annotated explanation at the end. After all, this is a movie where residents of a city aware of the fact that a 1000 ft. monster roams the streets choose to stay at home, with the idea of getting the hell out of town never crossing their minds. It’s great fun, I swear.