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Colossal Movie Review (2016) | Analysis and Explanation | Major Spoilers

Colossal movie isn’t really a monster flick. So if you are rushing into the theatres just to see a Kaiju and Robot stand off, I would say don’t. Also, if you don’t like movies with hidden meanings, or if you are too shallow to understand poetic vibes, metaphors, and profound reflections, this isn’t a movie for you. Okay now that we have separated the facile crowd, remaining intense peeps, come with me. I will introduce you to this genius of a flick.

Colossal Movie Theme (Spoilers Ahead)

There’s one dialogue in the Colossal Movie that is basically the nub of the entire flick. When Oscar played by Jason Sudeikis asserts things to be boring, that 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.

That being said, if it were a simple flick about an alcoholic girl who has trouble holding on to things in her life, we wouldn’t have been surprised much. That is life for you ladies and gentlemen! You mess it up when things go boring. Then you jump from one leaflet to another in search of something interesting only to mess it up all over again. It’s that platitude of life that laughs at us, and we are no strangers to it.

Now you put a Kaiju in there to make things intriguing, and suddenly you are listening. The Kaiju in Colossal is nothing but a pictorial representation of Gloria’s (Anne Hathaway‘s) problems with her life. She has a drinking problem that seems to be uprooting her foundation. You can see that from the way she reacts to Tim (Dan Stevens) leaving her in the beginning.

Gloria’s Drinking Problem

Gloria is broken and she knows the solution to her problem is to just stop drinking and gain the reins of her life back. She is blacking out every now and then, sleeping at odd hours. At one point, she sleeps before inflating a mattress, and even while she was inflating it. She always ends up waking up in cramps and spasms. Days and conversations are lost with her shuteye. The world passes her by when she’s sleeping and she hears about everything for the first time, even though a news would be out for hours. It’s a muck she has brought upon herself, and things around her have paced up whilst she has slowed down.

Anne Hathaway as Gloria in Colossal Movie

Drinking has cost her job, her boyfriend, in short, her life. Until one day she wakes up to realize the monstrosity of her problem. She faces it in the form of a Kaiju, a gargantuan personification of her colossal problems. When she moves around with her problems she is bringing people down, here “killing them” even though she doesn’t mean to.

Why Seoul?

The people here are from Seoul where the Kaiju seems to appear whenever she is drunk as a fish. Nacho Vigalondo, the director, chose to press it against the time 8:05 AM just so we have a pictorial representation of something so deep. The reason he chose Seoul is because he had to pick a place that was aloof. Primarily, because when you have issues, you hurt strangers too.

For example, fighting with someone in a restaurant full of people. You have charred them too but you don’t care because it seems to you that ‘your’ life is more important and that ‘you’ are the center of it. That they are obligated to witness your monstrosity. The Seoul people are nothing but metaphors of lives you destroy in the process of you trying to figure out your life.

Another reason that Seoul was chosen is because it wishes to satirically remark West’s unperturbed feelings for the East. They believe it to be another world altogether and look at it as a wreck that is doomed for destruction. They are glad that they are away from the real problems and choose to brazenly witness it from a TV screen. It’s an apt and subtle wink at their unwavering thoughts as they do nothing but quilt up further just to gaze at misfortune of alien people.

Another one I could think of is how Seoul rhymes with Soul and has a spiritual level of gravitas to it. It takes you to delve into your soul to see what wrong you have done, what damage you have done in the wake of your complication.

Oscar with his problems

Gloria’s sorrow when she accidentally kills a helicopter is her lashing out at her minor fun act that causes a massive rampage. She feels really sorry for what she has done, and gets Oscar to arrange some Korean words to say sorry to the world. She is happy when the world forgives, as people say,

I knew it was a good monster.

That’s when the twist in the tale happens when a Robot like monster appears alongside the Kaiju telling us that Oscar is another one of those guys with “huge problems”. He dons a veil of the good guy for the better half of the movie, that makes us believe that he is one of the good people. But everyone carries a baggage that stays hidden from the world. His issues unroll when he finds out about Gloria sleeping with Joel (Austin Stowell). That baggage is nothing but sheer hatred and jealousy.

Jason Sudeikis as Oscar in Colossal movie

Oscar is a nice guy in actuality but he has this wont of shovelling his issues under the bed. So, that’s what he has been doing all this time until that glitch makes him lose it. He lashes out not only on Gloria, but also on Garth, one of his good old friends played by Tim Blake Nelson, whose issues he used to ignore all along. He breaks with,

I am tired of playing the good guy.

Oscar is a reflection of all those people who keep it together, only to explode when something horrible happens to them. So the Robot monster breaks loose.

Monster Face Off

There they are – a Kaiju and a Robot, Gloria and Oscar with their problems in the real world, fighting against each other. One stepping very carefully so as to not hurt the people around, the other reckless in his ways, because he doesn’t care about who thinks what of him, and is willing to hurt people in his frenzy.

Gloria’s avoidance of beer is her trying to straighten up her act so there are no repercussions. Oscar forcing one down her throat is him trying to twist her up so she stays the way she is.

Re-enters Tim. A glint of past that shines bright. Yes, he is nothing but a hue from the good old days she had once ignited with. He is an ex that sounds a good enough escape, but is in fact a horrible thought per se.

Oscar scares him away, with the firecracker and everything, putting on a show of wrath. He is really a messed up guy, a bully, yes that’s the word I am looking for, who has shackled Gloria, filled her house with furniture, TV and a job, roping her under favours so as to stop her from leaving him. The real life reflection of it is her not trying to escape because he blackmails her by hurting other people in Seoul, so she couldn’t leave.

I know what you have been thinking, why couldn’t Gloria just go and tell the cops and get him instead. Trust me I thought that too. But that’s what a shallow thought is. Things aren’t going to get better with the police involvement. It’s about her trying to stand her ground by fighting the biggest monster off her. It is going to get reinstated if she doesn’t face her problem herself.

The Ending of Colossal Movie Explained

Until one fine day it strikes Gloria that she could simply go away from him, and crush him even so by restraining his actions by helping those who get affected instead. That’s her going to Seoul, catching Oscar and flinging him away into space, making one final stand to show him who’s the boss of her life.

Her walking down to a Seoul bar to tell the bartender an amazing story is about her trying to tell the world of how she overcame the monster that had her caged. The irony to that is the bartender offers to offer her a drink.

The movie concludes at that point compelling us to think whether or not she would wind up once again encircled with the colossal problem she had just managed to scare away. While there’s a world out there trying to lure her into making mistakes, she has to face her demons by staying focused with life. It’s something she has to resist to stay sober, and not give rise to another monster that could bring havoc once again.

Why Gloria is a Kaiju and Oscar a Robot?

There is another great point to ponder upon as to why was Gloria representing a Kaiju and Oscar a Robot. You see, a Kaiju is evil in the minds of the people. Her huge drinking problem is frowned down upon by society. Her not being able to keep her life together, her blackouts, her inability to land a job, and constant partying habits are every representation of bad ways in societal eyes. That’s why she is akin to a Kaiju.

colossal movie kaiju image

But in reality she is good and pure from her heart. She accepts that she didn’t want to harm anyone, and that she was truly sorry for her act. It is something that is contradictory to a Kaiju’s behaviour.

Oscar, au contraire, appeared like a nice guy, and hence he is the robot. Because everyone thinks that he is a really good guy from the way he carries himself. Unfortunately he ends up doing just the opposite of good. That’s why the veil of a ‘Robot’ which the people consider to be just.

So we take another great point from the Colossal movie that what appears from an outward appearance is not necessarily the way things are in reality.

Direction of Colossal Movie

I can’t help but applaud Nacho Vigalondo enough for his colossal project. The trailer actually belied what the movie was going to be all about. It had us think that it was a mere comedy that was supposed to be superficial. But it isn’t. It is so much more than mere cheap thrills. To be able to wrap something so powerful inside a concept that appears shallow and that too is a resounding story in its own, it takes colossal balls. And Nacho has them!

Then you can’t overlook the editing of the flick. It gives ample focus to issues and makes for a good engaging watch. At all times issues are addressed, tension is created and every step promises to unwind into a plausible course of action. Everything falls in its natural order. That’s what makes the movie a hoot to watch.

The One Obvious Issue

The only thing that bothers is how many things do we have to sieve away in order to capture the gist of the movie? If you are watching Colossal movie in its utter joviality you are going to think it is nothing but a monster sci-fi flick that is for mere ephemeral fun. Well, I am pretty sure more than 75% of the moviegoers might have taken it that way.

Some might argue why wasn’t there any sort of linkage asking us to think in that direction. Why wasn’t there any remark if the movie was supposed to be an allegory? Why does it force us to think so much? The answer to that was in Oscar’s statement about boredom.

You take out the monster equation from the flick and it falls flat like an age old tale of a girl trying to figure out her crumbling life and then eventually taking a stand.

But that’s the whole point of it. If things were apparent and out in the open it wouldn’t have been as good a movie as it ends up being.

The Final Verdict

Colossal movie is an eccentric take, yes but it is so deep when you begin to actually think about it. It is manufactured to meet an esoteric bunch because if you think you have got it, considering it to be all about mere monsters and psychos, then you really haven’t.

Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis remain the heart and soul of the movie just like their metaphorical monsters. Both keep it casual to show the worldly bit, joking around, fooling around with their fun and frivolous side, only to end up being serious eventually before ripping each other apart.

The flick is truly about facing real problems, but it keeps everything fun and light by bringing to life epitomes of behemoths. It leaves everything out to exist on its own without actually relating anything to anything. So there are like two stories in it each capable of existing on its own universe.

Colossal movie is for the unusual masses who like to read between the lines. Watch it only if you aren’t as shallow as the unfeeling crowd.

It is a peculiar flick yes and so I will place the Colossal movie amongst my Avant Garde Bunch.

You can watch the trailer of Colossal Movie here:

 

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Colossal
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray

Colossal

Colossal
7.6

Direction

8/10

Plot

8/10

Editing

8/10

Screenplay

7/10

Drama

7/10

Pros

  • Esoteric Story
  • Awesome Allegory
  • Extraordinary Reflections
  • Brilliantly Directed
  • Really Deep

Cons

  • Not for everybody
  • Few Can Get It
  • No Direct Comparisons

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6 Comments

  1. Is it titled Colossal since it can also be spelled to “Alcoloss” ?

  2. I think it would also be essential to note how she didn’t know what would happen if she’d go to Seoul — if it would even work. Maybe it tells us how in facing our problems, there’s really no way of knowing what would happen but we must to take that risk anyway.. unless, we’d like to be stuck in this destructive cycle we’re in. Maybe it’s the only way we can really figure out that we’re really bigger than our problems and we can actually do something about it

  3. Here is my take on it. I think one of the problems with the reviews is in some markets it is described as a romantic comedy. Not exactly sure what genre to put it in but if you look at it from a purely psychological point of view and through a counselor’s lens you will see the deep analogy presented here. I am not sure if it was portraying domestic violence as one reviewer mentioned or addiction. My strong sense is this is addiction being analyzed here in a very brilliant way which is sadly lost on some reviewers that did not give the whole delightful romp satire farce a chance! If you read between the lines you see a woman facing her inner demons. The male character is not her romantic lead at all, I believe he is her alcohol addiction in flesh. It shows the stages of addiction so well. If you really view it through that lens, you see the addiction kicking her but, you see the addiction affecting the lives of millions and literally “killing,” everyone around her. Both her and the other monsters are responsible for the destruction of lives. You see the codependents, you see the people and maybe even someone appearing to be like a sponsor, trying to rescue Gloria but the addiction won’t let her go. At the end she finally finds the courage to toss away the addiction and her inner demons and refuses the glass of alcohol at the end. If I am right about the intended analogy this could be a very brilliant piece of Independent writing! Sad that it was lost on some looking for another sappy romantic comedy, or horror flick. Should be maybe satire with psychological satire? Brilliant either way! Human struggle with inner demons and ego! Wow! Guess you have to be a counselor or psychologist to really appreciate it it’s deep meaning!

    I hadn’t thought about Oscar being a metaphor as well as someone who has it together and then exposed, but that is good too. Love a deep hidden meaning movie. Awesome

    • Couldn’t agree more Katanya. Thanks for the wonderful analogy. 🙂

      – Scottshak

    • Yes!!! I am also a counselor and I agree wholeheartedly that Oscar represented her alcohol addiction. I wonder if all the male characters were different aspects of her psyche. I believe all the destruction in Seoul was symbolic of destruction to her soul. At one point, Oscar tells Gloria to roll up the projection screen in the background–I wonder if this has something to do with psychological projection. A very intelligent film that is so rich with symbolic meaning. Loved it!

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