Colossal : Monsters are real, they are within us.
Let’s get this straight, Colossal is not a monster movie about a strange looking, tall Japanese monster-Kaiju. Your expectations would be derailed after the first appearance of Kaiju in the prolog. What starts off as a romantic comedy, half way through wanders in the latitude where you are genuinely confounded where the film is taking you but understand you’re in competent creative hands. It further delves into more complex shades of emotions using the string of subtextual metaphors weaved around profound reflection of oneself and its implication on the surrounding.
Colossal is about two deeply flawed, broken soul who, in spite of their conscious awareness of their shortcomings, they stand stubborn, one waters his narcissistic pride and while other has a trouble holding on to things in life.
Gloria, played by Anna Hathaway, is naive and careless who has still not come of her age. Self-loathing, perpetually drinker, and delusional thinker, Gloria is gulped by the shallowness. She treats life as it comes, without putting any effort to make something out of it. This unstructured style of living, if at all we can call it a living, bemuses her boyfriend Tim (Dan Stevens) who throws her out of his apartment. Only she had to do was quit drinking and get back to writing. But instead, Gloria chooses to return to her native. She holes up her parent’s empty house carrying a briefcase and mattress.
There she reconnects with her childhood friend Oscar (played by Jason Sudeikis) who unconditionally supports her to get her shit together. He hires her in his bar. The bar which his parents left and deep inside, he doesn’t like it. He provides Gloria with furniture and other stuff without she asking him. It builds your interest in this cliche but genuinely moving romantic arc. Meanwhile, the prolog starts slipping from your brain, until, in very strange circumstance, Katju re-appears in Seoul destroying buildings and life. It is at this moment the magic happens and you slowly start appreciating the colossal creative landscape of the film that is drenched in personification and symbolism. It lures you to dig deep in its sub-text which heightens emotionally when Robot appears in Seoul along with Kaiju.
It is not just a coincidence that giant Robot appears around the same time when jealousy and rage creep in into Oscar. You witness the unraveling of the facade of his kind personality which heightens to an incredibly toxic consequence. He starts abusing and manipulating Gloria emotionally that threatens her self-confidence and self-respect more than what Tim possibly did. He completely reigns over her personality which is adequately depicted in one of the scenes in the bar where Tim manages to convince Gloria to return with her, but Oscar manages to not let her slip from his emotional captivity by going on self-destruction mode.
Oscar’s ego grows much taller than his personified ‘Robot.’ He literally and metaphorically gets into a fight with Gloria. The clash between “ego” and “entitlement” of one man against the “self-respect” and “redemption” of another takes a predictable path but ends on a worthy note. It is a reminder to us that our fate is in our hands. Only we have the power to destroy ourselves or make our life worth living. Monsters are real, they are within us. Eating us daily, bite by bite, creating a void that could possibly not be filled.
As Oscar quoted, “Life is boring, that we don’t pay attention unless and until something huge, something colossal happens to us, that’s when you realize the grandeur is simply showy.”