I read a one sentence synopsis of this movie, Downsizing (2017), and decided to watch it without knowing who was in it or seeing trailers for it. There are two parts to this review. After the movie thoughts and then after reading reviews from hillbillies on imdb.
First, though, let me reveal my epiphany. Art. Would you tell Van Gogh that he should have painted something different? Would you criticize Beethoven for his symphonies and tell him to change a note, or to dumb down his music into hip-hop beats? No. I am not sure if I have done this with movies I have reviewed on this site, so I will just state that moving forward, I have a new perspective on movies as a piece of artwork.
And say it with me… If a piece of art evokes love OR hate, it is true art. If it is forgettable, it has failed. So, saying that the director should have done something different, makes your EXPECTED EXPERIENCE is truly a hillbilly reaction. This is art, people. Love, hate or forget. Imdb is full of reviews from people who didn’t “get” it or who didn’t sit through it and pay attention. Maybe not enough explosion or fighting for them.
One person complained about a total of 10 seconds or less of penis shots from a medical standpoint. Hillbilly.
One person complained about an agenda of climate change, when it was said a couple of times that no one actually moved to leisureville because of that and that the moving of the colony was a cult. Hillbilly.
The rest were complaining about the director not sticking to other film types or they expected slapstick “honey I shrunk…” hillbilly-type entertainment.
So, now that is out of the way, on to the review.
The movie posed the question of whether you would completely change your body to live in a Utopia. Needless to say, Utopia is only Utopia for people who are happy at that moment. Things change, people are unpredictable, and for every person who has to have caviar served to them, there are numerous people who have to deliver that caviar. It makes society tick. Fishermen, delivery people, preparation chefs, wait staff, dishwashers, cleaners, utility workers… all provide that one plate of caviar. It is not Utopia for any of them. It’s life. For some, it’s merely survival.
The movie starts with a hum drum existence, with a dilemma posed by the mother of “Paul” (Matt Damon). Paraphrasing here: “They shouldn’t worry about the environment when I am in pain”. Everyone thinks their drama is the worst thing ever, and when told that at least you have X, it doesn’t make a difference. Paul is a caregiver. After his mother, he becomes the caregiver to his wife (Kristen Wiig).
To relieve their financial woes, they decide to shrink and live in the Utopia. Paul ends up alone in leisureville, and struggling to make ends meet. Lesson: Utopia is only Utopia when you are happy.
The journey shows him the chain of workers and the slums, which was unknown to him. In this area, he realizes that he doesn’t have it so bad and that even when you are in the worst scenario, you can still help people.
They visit the “holy land” and Paul gets sucked into a religious-type fever, and then comes to his senses.
The movie had unexpected turns, several storylines and morals, and was thought-provoking. Overall, I would say I liked it a lot for being unique (something most Americans don’t want), and won’t give stars anymore, as stars mean nothing except to the person reviewing.