#EditorChoice Downsizing Movie Review
Paul and Audrey Safranek (Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig) choose to go for a procedure called ‘Downsizing’, where human beings are shrunk to 5 inches and live ideal lives in gated communities. However things don’t go as planned for the couple.
As a solution to the effects of overpopulation and impending climate change, scientists have come up with a revolutionary procedure called ‘Downsizing’, where people can be shrunk to 5 inches. This means fewer resources are consumed, the pollution reduced and people get a chance to live a lavish lifestyle than their big counterparts because a mere $100,000 is transformed to $12,00,000 when you are transformed. The small world seems ideal, with the only catch being; the procedure is irreversible. Paul and Audrey Safranek, a middle class, cash-strapped couple opt to go for the procedure for a better life in a gated community of small people called Leisureland, but Audrey develops cold feet right after Paul has been shrunk. Now, Paul is even more depressed and lives the same dull life he previously lived until he meets his hard partying roommate Dusan (Christoph Waltz) and his Vietnamese dissident maid, Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau). While Dusan lives lavishly and wants Paul to be happy with the material things around him, Lan Tran takes him to the poorer part of Leisureland which slowly transforms him.
‘Downsizing’ is a very different film by Alexander Payne who has previously made ‘Nebraska’ and ‘The Descendants’. Sure the dark humour is present like the previous two films, but on this one, he has really taken the microscope to the subject of downsizing humans. While our technology could one day save us, can we as humans overcome our emotions and our behaviour in the face of doom? While the subject matter is heavy, the humour provided by Christoph Waltz and Hong Chau keeps things light. The chemistry between Matt Damon, as the simple do-gooder and Hong Chau as the feisty political dissident is hilarious and moving at times. The attention to detail in each scene, like when the downsized humans are picked up with a spatula or when they smuggle giant vodka bottles tied to a miniature sailboat, are a delight to watch.
This is one film that looks at a much bigger problem when it comes to shrinking humans than any previous film on the subject. While it dithers in what it wants to eventually say, it is certainly a fun watch.