Downsizing

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Photo Source: Paramount Pictures

When scientists discover how to shrink humans to five inches tall as a solution to overpopulation, Paul (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) decide to abandon their stressed lives in order to get small and move to a new downsized community — a choice that triggers life-changing adventures. – Paramount Pictures

Downsizing was directed by Alexander Payne. The film was also written by Payne with Jim Taylor.

The plot for Downsizing is absurd but somehow oh so relatable. Once you get past the fact that this movie features people being shrunk down to about 5 inches, it’s really just about life and the human condition. Matt Damon is Paul Safranek and he is just a regular guy. Paul has an okay job, a wife he loves, debt, an okay house and the dream that he is meant for bigger things. Everyone knows someone like Paul. With the introduction of downsizing and it’s increased popularity, Paul is finally able to do bigger and better things. By downsizing Paul and his wife won’t have to work anymore, there debt will be taken care, they’ll be able to get there dream house and have the satisfaction that they are doing there part helping the world combat climate change. Anybody can tell Paul isn’t all that happy with his life but downsizing promises to fix most of his problems and hopefully make his wife happier. Things don’t go as planned and his wife Amy leaves Paul to get downsized and divorces him. Paul now divorced, depressed and 5 inches tall needs to find a new path in the very big world he lives in. Everyone’s been where Paul is, aside from the shrinking part. We’ve all done things we thought would make others happy only for it to backfire. This film goes many places I didn’t expect and it makes it all the more enjoyable. Downsizing is about a man finding happiness again in a big world.

The cinematography in Downsizing is superb, it’s absolute eye candy seeing tiny people in a big beautiful world. The directing style is as interesting as premise of the film. The way Payne shows the process of downsizing is spectacular and the score makes it all the better. The score for Downsizing is superbly fitting for the film, it’s upbeat, happy and sad all at the same time, just like the movie.

Downsizing certainly has many aspects of a drama but man is it funny. Most of the humor comes from the characters. Matt Damon’s Paul is such a relatable guy. Little things like other characters constantly mispronouncing his last name consistently made me laugh. Matt Damon is a talented actor and constantly delivers in his films, Downsizing is no exception. The two standouts in this film are Christoph Waltz, who plays Dusan Paul’s eccentric neighbor and Hong Chau who plays Ngoc Lan Tran, a Vietnamese activist shrunk by the government as punishment. Everything out of Waltz’s mouth made me laugh. He does a ridiculous accent which makes everything he says funnier. It really looked like Waltz had fun with this role. Chau had my favorite performance in the film. Her character can’t help but make you smile, she’s a genuinely good person in big, unfair world.

Downsizing is a fun heartwarming film with an incrediblly absurd yet relateble premise. The only downfall of the film is when it tries to serve as a warning about climate control and immigrant issues, it’s much better as a science fiction film about the human condition.

I give Downsizing a 7.9 out of 10, would watch again.

“The world needs assholes, where else would shit come out.”

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