Colossal hits it out of the park as a super-smart indie comedy.
3.8 out of 5 (Very Good)
| Vighnesh Menon (NOWRUNNING)
Nacho Vigalondo's Colossal is this year's indie surprise which will bewilder you with the way it keeps itself interesting.
In Colossal, Anne Hathaway acts as Gloria, an alcoholic mess who has just been dumped by her ex. She moves to her hometown and bumps into Oscar(Jason Sudeikis), her old classmate at elementary school, who turns out nice enough to help her recoup. Soon, Gloria finds out a mysterious link between her and a Kaiju monster that is wreaking havoc in Seoul.
More than the uniquely bizarre premise itself, it is the twists and turns that make Colossal a colossal entertainer. Just when you think you know where the film is heading, it changes lanes to become a completely new monster. This happens every 20 minutes or so, substantiating the talent and audacity that has gone behind making this film. The writing is tight and the direction- although by the book- precise. Vigalondo does both with equal finesse, knowing exactly what he is doing with such an 'all-or-nothing', tongue-in-cheek premise.
It would be foolish not to acknowledge the subtexts within Colossal's extraordinary screenplay. An irresponsible but empathetic American woman is equated to a monster. The monster has been specifically chosen to destroy a South Korean city. The media- especially, social media and the internet- is given due mention because it is a present-day story. There is a contrast between urban and sub-urban America. And to top it all, being an indie production, Colossal does whatever it takes to take a jibe at modern day America and more importantly, Hollywood and its obsessive blockbuster standards. It mixes the same monster Hollywood loves and had borrowed from their Far East counterparts, mixes it with the conventions of comedy and psychological thriller. The director doesn't mind escalating the drama and farce of each situation. This invariably gives the audience an extra something in each scene.
Hathaway and Sudeikis are generally awesome Hollywood actors. She is brilliant as the protagonist caught between a rock and a hard place, but it is Sudeikis' career-best performance that comes out as the best thing in the film, even though it has plenty of great moments in its arsenal. The candidness in the dialogues, the simplistic yet creative direction, the intentionally cheap VFX and useful supporting characters are all vital contributors to the success of Colossal.
Keep an eye out for Colossal's deft views on sexism, America's current political stance, human ignorance and voyeurism. The film might deceive you by looking silly, but that only proves how smart it is in hiding its undertones. Colossal is American comedy at its finest and a testament to the golden age of independent cinema, which is now.
Critic: Vighnesh Menon
3.8 out of 5 (Very Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good