Good morning, Merry late Christmas, and happy soon to be New Year ladies and gents, I hope the festive period has been a blessing to you all. Today’s movie of choice is Downsizing, a strangely enough hidden gem. I saw this on Christmas day with a packed crowd and I have to admit that it surpassed my expectations. Without further hold up, let’s dive into it.
Due to overpopulation concerns, scientists have devised a method of shrinking its citizens down five inches tall as a sustainable solution. Paul, an occupational therapist, and his wife Audrey are having some financial troubles and are looking down the bottom of a barrel. They decide to take the irreversible procedure of shrinking themselves after discovering their current amount of money is worth more shrunk. This choice opens up a new world for Paul. A road of self discovery, adventure, and a new lease on life.
Matt Damon play Paul, an occupational therapist and a genuine nice-naive guy. He is our main protagonist and whose experiences, from financial struggles to being on a life changing adventure while shrunk, we see. He goes through the most character growth in the entire film. Kristen Wiig plays Audrey, Paul’s wife. She is depicted in the film as a selfish and self-centered person who abandons Paul after he get’s shrunk. Basically she didn’t care about him enough to make this change in lifestyle, wife of the century right there. Christoph Waltz plays…himself in the form of Dusan. He is the annoying party neighbor turned best-friend to Paul after the two comes to terms with their differences. His role in the dynamic of the story itself is to show Paul that he is not enjoying the life and person he himself is. Hong Chau plays Lan Tran, the best character in this entire thing. She is a Vietnamese hero of sorts and was sentenced to be shrunk for her activism in Asia. The movie comes to life with this character in all fairness.
The first set-piece shows Paul in his day-to-day life as an Occupational Therapist for local workers, as well as a care giver for his dying mother. This is where Paul sees on the news the scientific breakthrough in Norway by Dr. Jorgen on his shrink theory. Dr. Jorgen shrunk his family and a few local people, along with himself, to be the first test subjects to undergo the experiment. Paul finds this fascinating and considers doing this to himself one day. The second set-piece sees Paul and his wife attend a school reunion with some of their old classmates. They see that their friends Dave and Carol shrunk themselves and become curious of the process. Dave explains to Paul that he should consider it due to he and Audrey’s financial situation. The two look into it at Leisure Land, the best area for shrunk people, and learn how far their money will stretch. Turns out pretty far and the two decide to do the procedure.
The third set-piece sees Paul shrunk and adjusting to his new perspective when he learns that Audrey decided not to do it and wanting to live the life she always wanted. Basically leaving him after he made this irreversible decision. This breaks Paul, as divorce does to many, and he moves away from helping people as a result. The fourth set-piece sees Paul having a heart to heart with Dusan over the noise his parties make. The two come to a civil understanding and Paul goes to his party after his date goes south. Paul enjoys himself and passes out from the fun. After the party a clean up crew comes over and this sees Paul meet Lan Tran. Paul notices she has a limp with her one leg and offers to help her out. She learns he is a doctor of sorts and takes him with her to see her friend, who unfortunately dies. Due to Paul snapping her prosthetic leg trying to fix the limp, he has to help her in her daily duties until a new one is available.
The fifth set-piece sees Paul, Lan Tran, and Dusan are invited to Norway to the first colony of shrunk people to do some humanitarian work. Along the way Paul and Lan Tran fall in love, in the bar type of way, and become closer. Dr. Jorgen meets them and informs the group that the world is coming to an end soon as a result of the ice melting. Dr. Jorgen has concluded that these are the last days and we all should do as we need. The final set-piece sees the group venture to the colony and are informed of the measures they are going to take to ensure the survival of the species, by going underground. Paul thinks that this is his destiny to go down a hole and live. Lan Tran rightly berates him and tells him she is not going down there but to remember her. On the proposed 4+ hour walk to the bunker, Paul changes his mind and goes back to his friends. Showing how indecisive he is in his decision-making. The group goes back to Leisure Land and continue their respective work.
CONCLUSION & RATING |
This movie is a hidden gem. Matt Damon does an impressive job at being this overly nice naive person that goes through a strong character growth. From going through a divorce in the midst of financial struggles to literally changing his view on the world and enjoying the little things, no pun intended. Hong Chau is the best part of the movie to me. Her stern/stubborn attitude and her extremely strong accent made the movie a joy. Who am I to talk about accents. I give this movie a strong 4 out of 5. Go see it for yourself and enjoy this dark comedy.
Thank you guys for checking out our review of Downsizing. Please have a great New Year, follow us on here so we can grow, and be safe out there! See you next blog post, bye.