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Colossal is an intriguing hybrid of genres packed with dark humor, science fiction, and a dash of mind-boggling monster mayhem. It's a bold and uniquely original film that Natalie Portman reportedly once expressed interest in but ultimately passed on, leaving the role of Gloria to the versatile Anne Hathaway. Gloria, a charismatic yet hapless woman suffering through job loss and a recent breakup, is the struggling protagonist at the heart of this wildly audacious movie.

She's a writer and borderline alcoholic who is all too quickly spiraling into a life of disarray. Initially living in New York City, she's forced to leave her posh lifestyle due to her flamboyant and reckless behavior and move back to her small hometown after her boyfriend, Tim, played by the accomplished actor Dan Stevens, breaks things off. This is a move recalibrating the conventional monster story by displacing the metropolitan chaos that is characteristic of the genre to a quieter, less frenetic setting.

Once back home, Gloria runs into her old friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who offers her a job at his bar, a place where her problems only seem to intensify. Oscar is a charming yet vaguely ominous character, the passive-aggressive nature of his personality bringing a haunting authenticity to the movie. Sudeikis flexes his dramatic muscles in this role, showing an intriguing versatility that his earlier roles had only hinted at. The supporting cast members, Austin Stowell and Tim Blake Nelson, portraying Oscar's friends, pivot between being comic relief and supporting pillars, holding up the narrative when it threatens to falter under its own ambition.

Without giving away key plot points, the narrative takes an unexpected turn, linking Gloria to a giant monster causing havoc in Seoul, South Korea. This seemingly absurd reality builds a symbolic underpinning through which the movie explores themes of addiction, guilt, and personal responsibility. It's here where the movie shifts gears from being just a slice-of-life drama to a quirky and comically surreal giant-monster movie.

This bizarre twist, deftly handled by Spanish director and writer Nacho Vigalondo, will keep viewers alternately puzzled and entertained. Notably, Vigalondo is no stranger to the eccentric as his previous projects also dabbled in the peculiar and unconventional, showcasing his distinctive voice as a filmmaker.

Colossal authentically mirrors the all-too-real monsters inside ordinary human lives and personalities. It explores how people project their insecurities, their guilt, their shortcomings, and their monstrous selves onto others or external circumstances. Vigalondo does this with aplomb, using the outlandish metaphor of a literal giant monster to tell a deeply human story about battling one's inner demons.

But it would be remiss to gloss over Anne Hathaway's performance, managing to convincingly portray a complex character. From bumbling through life in a drunken haze to gaining a sober understanding of her own power and responsibility, her arc is both compelling and multi-layered. Her fresh and charismatic portrayal of Gloria gives the film its heart and drives the narrative.

Its genre-blending narrative gives Colossal a unique spin to the otherwise run-of-the-mill giant monster movie, paralleling human life’s vicissitudes with havoc wrought by skyscraper-tall creatures. The beast disaster segment is beautifully captured with an effective use of CGI animation, adding a perfect touch to the creepy narrative without overshadowing the film's smaller-scale human drama.

Stylistically, the film bends genres and defies easy categorization. While the cinematography effectively captures the scale and destruction of the monster scenes, it also subtly portrays the small-town setting and intimate character moments. The result is a cinematic experience weaving together elements of humor, horror, and human drama into a unique narrative tapestry.

In essence, Colossal is an extraordinarily creative thesis on self-destruction, personified, and monstrously symbolized. Though the narrative takes unexpected detours down dark roads, it serves to surprise audiences rather than confuse them. It's a film that takes risks, exploring new ground, and those willing to take the ride will be rewarded with a fresh take on the monster movie genre and much more. A remarkably original and bold film, it's a testament to the expansiveness of the cinematic storytelling, challenging what a film can be, and accomplishing much more than expectations. It's a colossal leap in storytelling, one that leaves a lasting imprint.

Colossal is a Comedy, Science Fiction, Action movie released in 2017. It has a runtime of 110 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.2. It also holds a MetaScore of 70.

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Where can I stream Colossal movie online? Colossal is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Netflix, Tubi TV, Kanopy, Amazon, Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Colossal for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Nacho Vigalondo
Anne Hathaway, Dan Stevens, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson
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