This winter was full of box office hits taking the big screen, including “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “The Shape of Water” and “All the Money in the World.”
One movie that flew under the radar was “Downsizing,” featuring Matt Damon and Hong Chau (who was nominated for a Golden Globe for best supporting actress).
This movie carried a larger (or, should I say smaller) look at what overpopulation can do to the earth and its inhabitants.
Paul Safranek [Damon] and his wife Audrey [Kristen Wiig] decide to go through a process called “downsizing” that would physically shrink them to five inches in size. Audrey bails at the last minute, but Paul goes through with it, leaving him on his own in this tiny world.
Later in the movie, he runs into a woman named Ngoc Lan Tran [Chau], who was illegally shrunk down and found inside a TV box shipped to a Target in America. She is sent to the little world and lives in poverty with a missing leg due to improper treatment. Paul and Ngoc’s relationship forms the core of the remainder of the movie.
“Downsizing” seems to have polarized critics. My girlfriend Aubrey and I went to see the film together. We both had contrary reactions.
Personally, I liked the second half of the movie because it underscored the bigger implications behind the film’s premise, most notably the reality that we are killing the planet on which we live.
This latter half shows the life of a person who has gone through the process of downsizing already, showing how this leads to less waste and the ability to form smaller societies where everything, with people included, is shrunk.
Aubrey, on the other hand, liked the first half of the movie better because it showed the intricacies and fictional technicalities of the process of downsizing.
Steps to undergo pre-downsizing included shaving off all body hair, removing cavities and giving examinations to make sure potential recipients did not have any rods or screws that could interfere with the process.
Aubrey thought the second half was too dramatic and focused too heavily on Paul’s quest to find himself, whereas the world-building and differences between the small world and normal-sized world in the first half were much more interesting.
From our perspectives, the movie would get a 6.5/10 from Aubrey, and a 6/10 from me.
“Downsizing” probably won’t be taking home any major Academy Awards. But my love for the film’s second half, put together with Aubrey’s love for the first, combines for a pretty decent movie.
Sadly, considered in totality, the film was underwhelming, largely due to its slow pace.
Overall, we recommend not spending money to see this movie. However, if it pops up on Netflix or Hulu, it might be worth a watch.
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