It’s a standard setting. Small town America with kids
growing up next door to each other, going to school together. She, Gloria goes
away to New York. He, Oscar continues to lead an ordinary life, looking after
his father’s bar.
She’s back in town after being thrown out by boyfriend
Tim who can’t cope with her lies and her night-long binges with the bottle. Oscar
is thrilled, they hang out, theywork together.
But turns out, Oscar’s just a mean jerk. It seems he
was always jealous of her even in their childhood, always resented her for
being better than him.
At some stage Gloria tells Oscar that she alwaysthought
he wanted her, was possessive of her, maybe even stalked her. So did she have a
brain fade about it? Why does she continue befriending such a claustrophobic
personeven after seeing that unhinged streak in him?
Okay, she herself is flawed, damaged, ready to bottom
out. But self-discovery and recovery take the shape of a narcissistic American
who believes that their petty interpersonal issues impact the world.
There’s a monster stomping Koreans in a public spot in
Seoul. In a preposterous premise, Gloria walking home through the local
playground and park in a drunken stupor finds she’s connected tothe monster.
What Gloria does on a particular patch in the park at 8.05 am is exactly what
the monster replicates in Seoul. That sobers her up coz she’s now got the big
responsibility to see that she, the monster, doesn’t kill any more Koreans. The
Koreans themselves are too helplessly stupid to move away and they keep
crowding the same street night after night. But Oscar emotionally manipulates Gloria
because he can stomp all over Seoul too, and only she can stop him from killing
many more Koreans.Oh, America, please stop hallucinating about your importance.
Writer-director Nacho Vigalondo tries hard to salvage
a familiar alcoholic’s story by bringing in a monster angle. You know, the meet
and slay the monster within you, kind of message. But do spare Korea and the
rest of the world please when you deal with your demons.
I’m sure there’ll be many who’ll extol the special
effects of the monster who appears, destroys and disappears like vapour. But
I’m not sure we need to be impressed by computer graphics anymore.
Anne Hathaway’s fans will perhaps sit through this bizarre
monster experience although as Gloria, wide-eyed over the power she wields, she
doesn’t particularly do anything we haven’t seen her do before. It’s awkward watching Jason Sudeik is go from
nice to nasty in a clunky screenplay.
For a film that requires a leap of faith that few will
be able to take, Colossal gets a 2.5* rating.
Journalist & Author