*Spoilers in this one*
Watching the trailer for this film you will find yourself thinking that this is a simple romantic comedy-esque movie with a slight monster twist, perhaps put in for nothing more than a few laughs and to make it stand out from every other such film out there. After actually sitting down and watching it I was surprised to find that this was not the case, not even a little bit. This film is not what you expect, and it is oh so much better for it.
What starts out as a somewhat absurdist take on the romantic comedy genre quickly descends into a dark metaphor for physically destructive tendencies and abusive relationships. Yeah, not the first thing I thought this film was going to be about either. It handles the subject matter incredibly well by giving us and the main character all of the same warning signs, using the somewhat tired “romantic” tropes that are strewn throughout every one of those films and showing them for what they really are. Creepy. As. Fuck.
Despite the destructive tendencies of the main character she is still aware enough to see what is going on, to see the manipulation at play, something that is almost unseen in the movies. To take a tired and worn out example… If Anne Hathaway’s character, Gloria, was in the 50 Shades movie she would have been out of the door midway through the opening interview and on the phone to the police before the elevator doors closed.
Yet, as with the majority of abusive relationships she is manipulated to stay. And what does she do next? When faced with an almost inescapable problem that leaves her terrified and physically in pain? She figures out what to do, how to gain the power needed to escape the abuse, showing that no matter the odds that there is always a way out, that no matter what you cannot let your abuser control your life.
Even with all of the monster stuff going on the movie gives us a truly real ending. Whilst the events of the film have strengthened Gloria it has not solved all of her destructive tendencies. In many Hollywood examples it seems as if a magic brush gets wiped over the final act making every problem a character might have vanish in an instant. Here we are shown a character that has successfully come through a traumatic experience, however she is still going to face hardships. She is on the road to recovery, yes. But she is not all better yet. This film is such a breath of fresh air.
Colossal is Feminist cinema done right! Even though she is the only female character within the entire film (aside from a few extras here and there) Anne Hathaway’s Gloria is a character women can be proud of.
The majority of the men is this film are either shown as abusers or witnesses to the abuse who do nothing about it. There is no redemption arc for these horrible people. There is no “two sides” where the film makes us feel sorry for the abuser and his friends. The men are dicks, and they get what they deserve. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who has any serious reservations regarding the treatment of these characters either did not watch the film correctly or sits from a position of privilege where they can be found complaining about Wonder Woman or the fact that MJ is black in the new Spider-Man.
This film kind of went under the radar in the UK and that is a shame. This is what cinema should be and everyone needs to see it. This is an artistic piece that, although uses a somewhat absurdist plot, is not afraid to reveal real truths and struggles.
I cannot recommend this enough.
Watch again? – Yes
Buy on Dvd/Blu Ray – Yes