An epic mon­ster mash-up

Sunday Tribune - - FILM - ANN HORNADAY

HID­DEN be­hind a dark cur­tain of hair, her rac­coon-ringed eyes peer­ing from un­der thick bangs, Anne Hath­away seems to be do­ing penance for the shaved head and gimme-the-os­car bom­bast of her award-win­ning turn in Les Mis­er­ables.

That movie plunged Hath­away – a gifted ac­tress, co­me­dian and singer – into a mael­strom of in­ter­net “hate”, which is cheery mil­len­nial-speak for ir­ra­tional, mis­di­rected (and of­ten sex­ist) rage.

If Hath­away’s new movie, Colos­sal, doesn’t quiet the haters, noth­ing will. This clever mash-up of in­die rom-coms and Ja­panese “kaiju” movies (think Godzilla and Mothra) presents an ideal show­case for the ac­tress’s gifts for spiky self-aware­ness, slap­stick phys­i­cal hu­mour and sub­tle changes in tone and colour that sneak up on view­ers through­out a movie that’s never quite as sim­ple as it seems.

Colos­sal opens with a scene in­spired by those Godzilla/mothra roots, when a lit­tle girl in Seoul clutches her dolly to her chest while an enor­mous mon­ster ter­ror­izes her home town.

Cut to 25 years later, when Glo­ria (Hath­away) stum­bles into her boyfriend’s apart­ment after a rag­ing all-nighter. Clearly it’s hap­pened be­fore, and clearly

Tim (Dan Stevens) has had it; he orders her to pack her things, just mo­ments be­fore her fel­low rev­ellers pile into the front door to keep the party go­ing.

Home­less and vir­tu­ally job­less (nom­i­nally Glo­ria is a blog­ger, but it’s not clear how much work she gets done in between binges and hang­overs).

Just how Glo­ria’s story in­ter­sects with the Korean pre­am­ble is a mys­tery best left un­plumbed here, but Colos­sal’s writer-di­rec­tor, Na­cho Vi­ga­londo, does a grace­ful job of in­ter­twin­ing the two events with the per­fect bal­ance of cred­i­ble re­al­ism and out­right fan­tasy, along with nods to 9/11 and the en­su­ing voyeuris­tic age of the in­ter­net meme.

Suf­fice it to say that the mon­ster re­turns, with deep ram­i­fi­ca­tions for Glo­ria, whose bleary search for self­hood and vo­ca­tion has the same awk­ward, world-smash­ing heed­less­ness.

Ja­son Sudeikis as Os­car with Anne Hath­away as Glo­ria in ‘Colos­sal’.

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