Writer: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor (Screenplay)
Starring: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig, Rolf Lassgard, Ingjerd Edeberg
Plot: A social satire in which a man realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself to five inches tall, allowing him to live in wealth and splendor.
Tagline – We are meant for something bigger.
Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Quirky Comedy
Story: Downsizing starts as we enter a world where scientists have perfected the idea of shrinking people to help decrease the overpopulation problem the world will be facing, the experiment was a success and is now an option for people around the world.
10 years later the world has accepted downsizing with communities appear all over America, here we meet Paul (Damon) and his wife Audrey (Wiig) who have been struggling in the economic changes and after advice decide to go through with the procedure. Things don’t go as planned as Audrey backs out leaving Paul alone in this new environment Leisure Land.
After spending the first year alone in Leisure Land, Paul meets his carefree party animal upstairs neighbour Dusan (Waltz) who shows him a different side to life and how to enjoy his life once more which happens sooner than he thinks when he meets Nogc Lan Tran (Chau).
Thoughts on Downsizing
Characters – Paul is an average man with an average job, but a real problem with money in the real world, he turns to downsizing program where he can live a better life. There he finds himself alone until he learns about a bigger problem, which he sets out to try and help with. Dusan is the neighbour living in Leisure Land, he is carefree and shows Paul how to enjoy his time in this new environment. Ngoc Lan Tran is a refugee that gets handicapped in her escape becoming a cleaner in Leisure Land showing that not everyone in this land is rich, she helps Paul see a new meaning from life.
Performances – Matt Damon is great in the leading role, he gives performance that is filled with confliction, confusion and in need of finding a purpose in life, it shows in each emotion that he shows us. Christoph Waltz is a lot of fun in his role where he sees him enjoying playing the carefree character. Hong Chau in wonderful in her role, she brings everything we need to see as Paul makes his decisions.
Story – The story has plenty of social commentary going on, as we see how the real-world problems trying to be addressed in an alternative solution, in this case shrinking the population. We do see the classes being addressed in the same way regardless of size and how one big decision you can never go back from can leave you right where you were supposed to be. This story doesn’t go in the direction you would imagine but does play out well becoming a subject you don’t mind seeing the people watching.
Comedy/Sci-Fi – The comedy hits the quirky level with ease and puts us into a world where this procedure is a possibility which checks of the sci-fi side of the story too.
Settings – The settings show us just where the characters live have been, will go and how not everything is as it first appears.
Special Effects – The effects are used well to make sure everything is scaled to the right size for the difference in the people involved.
Final Thoughts – This is a quirky comedy that plans into the social commentary that will be looked at as we do tackle bigger issues in the world including over population.
Overall: Quirky and enjoyable throughout.