The word “colossal” evokes massive Greek statues that adorned the ports of ancient islands, a tacit and imposing warning to ensure that visitors with bad intentions turn their ships around. Colossal, written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, is a bit like that. Except, instead of these big artful structures keeping people out, it’s about people keeping the bad creatures – and everything they represent – within.
Colossal’s focus is on the development of self-awareness, something Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is sorely lacking. An unemployed millennial who drinks too much, Gloria finds herself out on the street when her fed-up boyfriend (Dan Stevens) asks her to leave.
She decides to sort herself out in her parents’ unoccupied, barren house, located in a rural town where she runs into bar-owner Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), her classmate from elementary school, who’s buoyed up by two buddies (Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson).
In short order, Gloria’s monumental challenge tied to kicking her alcohol habit is eclipsed by earth-shattering news: a monster – big, scaly, just like one of those Japanese-inspired, Kaiju-critters – is wreaking havoc in Seoul.
The global catastrophe – although “real” – is like a giant oak whose ultimate meaning is contained in a much small entity. The acorn? Right. It’s Gloria.
The fledgling heroine of her own sordid story realizes she’s connected to the South Korean debacle through the quirkiness of local geography. As her understanding increases, so does Oscar’s antagonism. Two monsters are now ravaging Seoul. And the human pair are certainly complicit, funneling what lies within their subconscious onto a much larger scene.
What initially seems far-fetched is a validation of the benefits releasing energy and anger – both the domain of archetypal Mars – with a view towards Jupiterian expansion, in both geography and physical size of our demons, and Plutonian transformation.
Colossal is a clever Jungian exploration of becoming the gods that would otherwise happily and endlessly control us. And the city named Seoul? There are no accidents.
Archetype: Monster. Demon. Subconscious. Gods.
Astrology Archetype: ♂ ♃ ♇ (Mars, Jupiter, Pluto)