Synopsis: When scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to over-population, Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a downsized community.
Review: Released earlier this week on Amazon ‘Downsizing’ is a science fiction film that has a lot of heart and wrestles with a lot of issues.
I saw the trailer for this film a while back, but at the time I wasn’t really able to see it on the big screen due to life throwing a few curve balls my way. So I kind of forgot about it until I saw Marc Zicree enthusiastically endorsing the film as a thought-provoking film on his Mr. SciFi youtube Channel.
Starring Matt Damon. This film is not only an exploration of being able to downsize yourself and your entire life, but it is also an exploration of human nature and has a little bit of a charming romance woven in as well.
Having seen lukewarm reviews for this film online you might think that my expectations would have been fairly low. They weren’t because I didn’t really have any expectations going into this. If anything I just watched because I was intrigued by the concept and was also a little curious to see why it had not been so well received.
I personally think this movie probably wasn’t well received by the mainstream audience was because it’s not a tentpole action adventure movie. Instead, it is more of what my late father would have called a people movie in that it was about the characters, the situations, and the relationships.
The concept of micro-sizing human beings and building small communities of smaller people so that they consume less is a fun concept. And the way it is sold to Matt Damon’s character is that because he’d be living smaller his bank balance would increase meaning that he and his wife could live in a luxurious mansion. Things do not go that great though when Damon’s onscreen wife Kristen Wiig backs out of the procedure and divorces him.
From that point on the film picks up some momentum as Paul, Damon’s character begins to see the darker side of this microsized utopia he has been living in. And events really take off when he meets Dusan Mirkovic (Christoph Waltz) and Ngoc Lan Tran his cleaner who is played brilliantly by Hong Chau. Paul takes interested in Tran because he saw that she was the only survivor of some refugees that had smuggled themselves into the microsized community in a television box. Tran being the sole survivor loses her leg below the knew and Paul having been a therapist wants to help her, but winds up helping a community of the underclass living within this microsized Utopia.
When an opportunity comes up for Paul, Tran, and Dusan to visit the original micro-community in Norway Paul becomes obsessed with the science and the scientist that developed the technology.
Overall. This is a fun film that washes over you, but it also seems to tie itself in knots with some of the science fiction elements, which over time become less interesting than the characters and the relationships that the film ends up exploring.
Matt Damon’s portrayal of Paul is a really nuanced performance of a man struggling to find his place in the world. And it takes Tran and she needs to care for the community, which helps Paul discover that he is really a good man. It is Pauls relationship with Tran and Dusan that provide much of this films funny moments.
What you have in ‘Downsizing’ is a charming and gentle science fiction movie, which explores the human condition through the microscopic microscope of downsizing.
Overall. ‘Downsizing’ is a fun diversion for a couple of hours, but you have to be open to letting the film just wash over you and be prepared to go with it.
In conclusion. This movie is more about the relationships than it is about the concept of ‘Downsizing’.
- Incidental Music8.0