I like movies that make me think, which is something Alexander Payne has accomplished before. But it’s rare that a movie really gets the gears turning hard–just from the trailer. The concept of Downsizing (that a technology has been created that shrinks humans down to a few inches) fascinates me. Both the idea of decreasing your environmental footprint, and the thought of stretching your meager funds into riches. And the questions kept on coming. If you never had to work again, who was staffing the three Cheesecake Factories? And how would travel work? Were small things created in large factories or were there a ton of tiny factories manufacturing everything? Kids? Could they happen? So many things to think about, and most of them were actually addressed.
I honestly would seriously consider this process if it were a real thing. For one, it addresses most of my environmental concerns: overpopulation, waste, climate change, etc, and this would be a real solution. And while I don’t particularly dream of owning a mansion and living in luxury, the possibility that it could be easily obtainable intrigues me. Just how far would my dollars go? And I saw that there was an amusement park in Leisure Land, so I’d assume there’d be a mini-Disneyland somewhere, right? I think my only serious concern is that if I were still single when I downsized, there’d prolly be a minimal pool of eligible bachelors to choose from. But otherwise, my reservations are minimal.
Right so the concept really got me going, but how did the movie do on it’s own? Not quite as well. Once the idea was established and we got into the second act where the plot was meant to take off, it just lost steam. No story could match up to the idea. And with an idea as inventive as this, there are so many roads the story can go down. Unfortunately, Downsizing tried to tackle way too many of those, without ever fully committing to one thought, and the result was very unfocused. Was this about Matt Damon’s relationships? Environmental concerns? Wealth imbalance in the colonies? How about all of those and a little more. Any one of those would have worked if they’d stuck with it. There were also long stretches where you’d forget that you were dealing with 6 inch people, which seems like a waste.
There was one saving grace: Hong Chau. She came in partway thru the movie, and completely ran off with the whole thing. She was so cute and charismatic, and her character had far more depth than Matt Damon’s did. Let’s just make the movie all about her next time, yeah?
Downsizing – \m/ \m/ \m/