Film Review: Downsizing

Downsizing is directed by Alexander Payne, starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Hong Chau. Now I have to say it’s seriously difficult to try and summarise the main theme of this movie because there are just so many subjects that it tries to tackle. But despite Downsizing being filled to the brim with ideas, it just never seems to go anywhere. Paul Safranek the film’s main character is played by Matt Damon, an actor I’ve always found to be somewhat hit or miss. But I guess you could say that in one way it’s been more miss for him lately between this and Suburbicon. I wouldn’t say that either of these films are bad, they just both suffer from the same issue which is a lack of fully realised ideas.

Downsizing picks up with our main character Paul Safranek struggling financially, but he comes to realise that there’s the possibility of a better life for him and his wife, if they were to consider being shrunk down to five inches tall. So as you can probably guess this certainly isn’t a biopic, it’s all completely fictional and to be fair it’s a decent enough concept. Set in the not too distant future, Earth has become increasingly more and more concerned with pollution and over population. But of course shrinking yourself down to five inches tall means you don’t require anywhere near as much space as before and your carbon footprint would be substantially less.

Now I really enjoyed this film probably for at least the first hour or so, but the trouble is the film continues to press on for another hour and fifteen minutes. This whole concept of doing your part to reduce emissions and so on gets completely blown out of proportion and then it’s dropped completely. There’s not a single doubt in mind, this is a film that was made to win awards, and director Alexander Payne has certainly done well for himself in the past with films such as Sideways and The Descendants. But there’s a perfectly good reason why this hasn’t even been nominated and that’s because it’s a jumbled mess of a film that can’t seem to make up its mind what it’s trying to be!

By all means check it out for yourself, who knows you may feel differently. Personally, though I’d say that what we have here is a classic case of all the best bits being in the trailer. Downsizing completely misleads you and not in a good way, it doesn’t trump you’re expectations and go one step further. No instead it’s more like your friend inviting you round for a delicious curry, only to be served a Bombay Bad Boy Pot Noodle. Although don’t get me wrong, I’m not above a cheeky Pot Noodle every once in a while, it’s probably more rewarding than sitting through this. 6/10

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