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Magic Realism in the Age of Kaiju

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Colossal Tackles Issues Large and Small

Anne Hathaway as a very stressed out Gloria. Jason Sudeikis as a slightly manic Oscar. The Monster.

A quite peculiar movie was recently released from writer director Nacho Vigalondo, and even after you watch it — and you should — you may be at a loss to describe the experience. It’s most certainly a science fiction movie, but perhaps it’s more science fantasy? It has many elements of a standard romantic comedy, but that title seems inappropriate as well. Consider, then that Colossal may best be described as a very late coming of age movie… with a body count.

When Gloria’s life in New York comes crashing down around her, she moves back home to work through her issues. An old high school friend Oscar offers her a job, but she begins to believe that a gigantic monster terrorizing Seoul is somehow connected to her. While she explores this connection, she begins to slip into old habits and her life unravels anew.

As Gloria and Oscar — compellingly portrayed by Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis — explore their evolving, sometimes tumultuous relationship, they realize that their outbursts affect not only themselves, but others. How each of them deals with this responsibility speaks to who they are as individuals.

There are many lessons to be learned from Colossal, but one of the clearest is that we all must ultimately grow up, take control of our lives, and accept responsibility for our actions… no matter how improbable or incomprehensible those actions may be. The film also demonstrates that we may encounter humans capable of monstrous acts, but we just might be lucky enough to occasionally find a monster capable of true humanity.

Written by in June of 2017. Last edited February 2018.

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