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.
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.
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.
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.
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: