Review: Colossal

Review: Colossal

I often imagine a film where genres come together and bleed into one another without regard for the beginnings of one and the ends of another. Every so often, a film will attempt to straddle certain lines, but rarely does a film completely disregard notions of the boxes it is supposed to check and just tell an entertaining story that defies description. It's rare for a film to just lay waste to convention and follow the ideas wherever they lead. Colossal does that, and more, in one of the more original offerings I have seen recently.

Photo Courtesy of Neon

Photo Courtesy of Neon

Gloria, a big city writer with a drinking problem is forced to move back to her hometown when her boyfriend kicks her out of their New York City apartment. Strapped for cash, she moves into her parents empty house and starts reconnecting with a childhood companion, Oscar. To this point, the film is unfolding like a fairly conventional rom-com, but what follows the deliciously absurdist premise that makes the film more than worthwhile. 

When a monster appears in Seoul, Korea, the world is captivated. And when Gloria determines that she is what controls the monster, things get out of hand quickly. The actual story weaves through small-town resentment and mid-life angst. We get moments of tension, humor and downright fright as she wrestles with the consequences of this and other discoveries. 

Photo Courtesy of Neon

Photo Courtesy of Neon

Sometimes, the more creative the original idea, the more you paint your screenplay into a corner. When you start with a wholly-original premise, it might be easy enough to find a windy road for your film to take, but it is much more difficult to find a way to 'land the plane.' And while Colossal hits a few snags along the way, it ends up being totally unlike anything else you'll see this year and just narratively satisfying enough that everyone should walk away happy. 

Photo Courtesy of Neon

Photo Courtesy of Neon

It also does not suffer for a lack of perspective, as there are moments of clear-eyed examination of the consequences of alcohol. While it is not shy about its point of view, I would say it stops just short of preachy on that front. You get glimpses of issues like domestic violence and isolation, but none of it is ever so out front that it becomes a distraction from the absurdist headline content. 

In sum, this mashup is a lot of fun and as long as you don't count yourself as a Hathahater, you should be able to find enough here to enjoy.

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