OVERVIEW - COLOSSAL REVIEW
Without spoiling what makes Colossal so effective, the tone is the primary twist with this film and is what makes it stand out. An interesting, wacky and original concept that is buoyed by excellent performances and the aforementioned tonal twist fight against genre tropes and what you think the movie would devolve into.
PLOT - COLOSSAL REVIEW
Colossal starts with the familiar story of a city dwelling “big shot” whose fallen off the wagon, kicked out of her boyfriend’s apartment and must return home. This triggers nostalgic memories and she of course finds happiness in the rekindling of a relationship of a childhood friend. Of course a lot has changed, but this simpler life is exactly what our protagonist, Gloria (played by Anne Hathaway) needs. Her old friend Oscar (played by Jason Sudeikis) invites her to his bar and they hit it off. So far, so generic right? Luckily the acting sets it apart, at least a little from this scenario we’ve seen so many times before. However, something happens shortly thereafter as a giant monster attacks Tokyo.
It’s given away in the trailer that somehow this monster and Gloria are connected, as she slowly realizes the repercussions of her real-life actions and the actions of the monster. Here, the film explores that relationship, the moral ramifications interspersed with her daily life with Oscar. From this point however, the nature of the film and it’s characters changes. It’s a wonderful change that works against conventions seen in the first act, and is very refreshing.
The monster aspect of the film was interesting enough, but combined with the shift of the characters and the type of film it was preconceived to be, Colossal has excellent grasp of making itself interesting and thought provoking.
CINEMATOGRAPHY - COLOSSAL REVIEW
Colossal’s cinematography divides itself well between three distinct locations; New York City is rather bright with rich white interiors and a clean sheen but subtly done, Gloria’s hometown in New England is grey and brown, projecting a dire, middling life in sharp contrast to New York and Seoul, South Korea is only depicted at night, lights fluttering beautifully among the Monster. There is nothing spectacular about any of the cinematography but that’s fine because of the subdued nature of the storytelling and easily distinguishable settings.
MUSIC - COLOSSAL REVIEW
There isn’t much to say about the original score of Colossal. It’s forgettable, but not bad. It has your typical tones and strings which are more akin to a horror movie, that take place during the tonal shift, and it is one of the primary indicators that the film has a new direction. It is always there as a signal of this shift beforehand however, but the score seems ironic until the plot catches up with it. There are a couple of scenes where a kind of stand off take place and the music does well to indicate the severity of it all. This isn’t just a fun, little scene, there is real danger in it, and without the music it would be hard to know this. There is a balance to the score as it starts out, particularly in New York and when Gloria first returns to her hometown with more upbeat
PERFORMANCE - COLOSSAL REVIEW
While Anne Hathaway almost always give a good performance, as she does here, it’s Jason Sudeikis that really shines. Sudeikis mostly plays affable, charming characters that cross the line which is still present in Colossal, but as mentioned numerous times, the tone that the film changes to specifically changes his character. It’s a believable performance, that combined with his natural charm, works all the better. It’s the most important execution of acting in the film, and without it, the effectiveness of the entire picture would be in doubt.
COLOSSAL REVIEW REFLECTION
Colossal is a solid film that in many ways is built upon a lie. Creating expectations and essentially following through on them until the third act makes the tonal transition that much more successful. With solid performances, an interesting premise to begin with and a twist that turns the movie on its head, Colossal is a fun film to see and enjoy without being too self important or lost in its own narrative.