I’ve seen all manner of monster films. I’ve also seen many romantic comedies.
But Colossal is the first time I can remember seeing a romantic comedy monster film. Or perhaps it’s a romantic monster comedy.
However you classify it, Colossal is definitely a genre bending film.
Gloria is a young professional who views her life through an alcohol-induced daze. Her late night alcoholic binges have affected her ability to get a job and maintain a successful relationship with her boyfriend, Tim.
After another night of alcoholic excesses, Tim packs her bags and tells her to go away and sort herself out. She lands in her childhood family home in her rural America hometown.
She reacquaints herself with a primary school friend, Oscar, but there’s a slight problem because Oscar owns a bar. He and his friends stay up all night drinking after the bar closes. Gloria succumbs and becomes their drinking buddy. She realises she is sinking deeper into the quicksand that is her life.
So far, so normal. It gets weird when a giant monster appears from thin air and attacks Seoul, South Korea. It appears at exactly the same time every morning.
Then Gloria realises she has an inextricable connection with the monster. It’s more than delirium tremens.
I told you, it’s weird.
Director Nacho Vigalondo provides a fresh outlook to the conventional plotline of a rampaging monster that flattens cities.
Whether this mish mash of styles and genres works reminds me of learning to roller skate. You momentarily maintained balance before losing it and then regaining it, until you finally managed to control the direction in which you were travelling.
Colossal works in a similar manner. The story, characters and emotions make sense before Colossal suddenly shifts direction and then regains its momentum. One moment you’re laughing and the next you have descended into the utter rage experienced by both Gloria and Oscar. At that stage, you’re not sure whether you should laugh or cry. As it turns out, you will do both.
If you eventually learned to roller skate, you should confidently negotiate the shifting genres within Colossal. Allow yourself to get weird.