Colossal: Anne Hathaway returns in a dazzlingly original, and dark, fantasy

Hathaway plays an alcoholic loser with a strange connection to a monster levelling Seoul

Monster session: Anne Hathaway in Colossal

Film Title: Colossal

Director: Nacho Vigalondo

Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson

Genre: Fantasy

Running Time: 109 min

Thu, May 18, 2017, 06:15

   

Remember when Anne Hathaway was the most hated woman in the world for reasons nobody could satisfactorily explain? Well, take note Mr Johnny Depp, because after a brief spell out of the limelight and a baby-break, the Oscar-winner is back with this lovely oddity.

A lo-fi sci-fi from the same indie mould as Safety Not Guaranteed, Monsters, or, indeed, Nacho Vigalondo’s genre-teasing previous joints (do check out Timecrimes and Extraterrestrial from the same director), Colossal begins with a classic Kaiju stomp-about, as a giant monster dominates the skyline of Seoul.

We cut across continents to Gloria (Hathaway), an unemployed writer struggling with alcoholism and a long-suffering boyfriend (Stevens) who has finally run out of patience.

She leaves their New York apartment and heads for the generic sleepy Midwestern town where she grew up, with no firm plan and an even less firm inflatable mattress. Once there, she’s reunited with her childhood best pal Oscar (Sudeikis), a bar owner who can provide Gloria with furniture, a part-time job and night-time lock-ins with local barflies Garth (Blake Nelson) and Joel (Stowell).

One night, walking home in a characteristically stocious stupor, Gloria falls asleep in a playground. She awakens to discover rolling news reports of a giant reptilian monster terrorising urban Koreans. But wait. There’s something awfully familiar about that beast.

The ensuing midway twist that links monster and loser is a doozy, but Colossal has even more surprises up its sleeve. A movie that looks like the most fun you can have around the theme of personal responsibility soon takes a darker swerve, before delivering a grand, operatic denouement.

Hathaway has seldom been better or more likeable: we cheer her dishevelled ne-er-do-well along, because of her flaws, not despite them. Sudeikis and Stevens come baring sucker punches. Bear McCreary’s score and Eric Kress’s cinematography bridges the gap between the film’s waring worlds.

A dazzlingly original fantasy conceit, worked to perfection. Take note DCEU and Marvelverse.