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by Louise Adams
Thursday Aug 10, 2017

Writer/director Nacho Vigalondo deconstructs all monsters great and small in the Seoul-ful, quirky dramedy "Colossal."

Anne Hathaway, who also executive-produced, stars as alcoholic wreck Gloria, who returns to her family's empty small town house after her New York boyfriend (Dan Stevens as Tim) kicks her out.

She reconnects with elementary school friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) running a bar and running with Joel (Austin Stowell) and Garth (Tim Blake Nelson). While she begins working as a waitress, a giant monster starts destroying Seoul, South Korea.

Gloria and Oscar rekindle their old, odd relationship, which is tested by her forgetfulness and his brooding focus on her. She calls him out, saying, "You can't stand that your life feels so small."

The monster mash of domestic abuse also zaps in out of thin air to wreak havoc and sync up with international events; the micro and macro aggressions are linked. Everyone's dark little (and large) secrets emerge, "like a lower back tattoo," alongside meta observations that "this is like a Wes Anderson movie," but they "wish the songs were better."

As a deconstruction of the kaiju (strange beast) genre, the script is intriguing, but raises many questions. How can the foursome drink gallons throughout every night and never look haggard? Why is everybody on earth so calm during daily monster attacks (a meditation on the normalization of this administration)? Why do the South Koreans keep returning to the monster's regular stomping grounds?

Gloria also reminisces about losing her job as an Internet writer, yet doesn't seem to have any money issues. Now that's a story I'd invest in.

This Blu-ray edition features one deleted scene extra.

Blu-ray & DVD set

Louise Adams is a Chicago freelance writer at www.treefalls.com (and a nom de guerre).


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