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Starring Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis, Colossal was a great way to start the SXSW festival. A testament to what makes the film festival so great is to be pleasantly surprised with the unexpected and Colossal was definitely not the run of the mill flick.

Colossal is about Gloria (Anne Hathaway), a hopeless alcoholic mess living with her boyfriend in NYC. After another late night bender which we identify quickly is a pattern, enough is enough and she is kicked out of the house. Without a job or prospects, she decides to squat in her parents vacant house back in her hometown. Running into a childhood friend Oscar, (Jason Sudeikis) who appears to be the potential romantic interest. Gloria quickly fits in with Oscar and his motley crew of barfly’s as the drinks keep flowing at Oscar’s local bar. Here is where Colossal becomes large. A mysterious monster ends up terrorizing Seoul, S. Korea and Gloria quickly realizes she is connected to the monster in a very real way.

The soundtrack was also great and the direction was on point. It was nice seeing Jason Sudeikis take on a different kind of roll and even as a hot mess, Anne Hathaway is pleasantly impressive, somehow adding gravitas and depth to Colossal.

What starts off as a super light potential rom-com, Colossal takes a sharp turn for the bizarre and dark, although I never felt like it committed to either sides of the coin. It might disappoint those expecting a love story and writer/director Nacho Vigalondo is anticipating this, which for me puts the movie in a world of its own. I found that the tone hit on some tangible real life feelings of depression, self loathing, and self abuse. Basically alcohol can create monsters and sometimes those monsters feel powerful out of the powerlessness of denial and addiction. Definitely more to this film than just a 30 something down and out.

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