Colossal (2017)


You want to know how inventive this movie is? It gets to a point where a shot of Jason Sudeikis’ feet slamming on a playground equates to the deaths of thousands of people in your imagination with just a gentle helping of sound design. That’s when you know Vigalondo’s gambit is paying off. Why stage mass-destructon when he can get the audience to do it for him? That’s good shit.

Maybe the best showcase of Hathaway’s talent since Rachel Getting Married which proves she works best when working with frayed edge characters. Though I read somewhere she was pregnant while filming this so I couldn’t help but constantly notice the presence of baggy clothes and obtuse framing and I also kept adding her pregnancy into the actual story as some sort of unspoken subtext, which added more danger and sympathy to her character, then I had to remind myself that no, she isn’t supposed to be pregnant at all. Still, pregnant or not, she is so radiant and present in this movie. One of those performances that engages you and has you musing within “she’s a great actress”. Sudeikis too is used to wonderful effect. It’s a role that tunes into both sides of his prickishness; the likeable prick and the detestable one. It feels like stunt-casting in that his acting persona is so much a part of the impact of the character’s arc.

Conceptually, there’s a lot to chew on here. Lot’s to read into. The film works as a comment on toxic relationships, online hate culture or even America’s fascination with mass destruction as entertainment. It all amounts to the best Vigalondo flick since Timecrimes certainly. It feels like it was inspired by child-like fantasy and imagination; a film that is built on a very simple idea and carefully sustains it. It’s surprisingly dark but the concept feels genuinely fresh, original and relevant. It’s like a skewed blockbuster, a film that manages to feel gargantuan despite having the most modest stature. At one point somebody asks, “Do you want to hear an amazing story?” Colossal qualifies as such.

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