- 2 hr 15 min
Downsizing, directed by Alexander Payne, is a science-fiction comedy-drama movie released in 2017. The movie stars Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, and Hong Chau in the lead roles. The premise of the movie is that, in the future, humans have discovered a way to shrink themselves to just a few inches tall in order to combat overpopulation and environmental issues. The movie opens with Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) struggling to make ends meet in Omaha, Nebraska. They learn about "downsizing," a new scientific procedure that can shrink them down to five inches tall where they can live in luxury in a miniature world called "Leisure Land Estates." Paul is hesitant at first, but Audrey becomes upset with their lifestyle and decides to leave him at the last minute - shrinking herself and living life without him. Paul goes through with the procedure, only to find himself alone in his new, tiny world. At first, Paul is excited about his new life, but soon realizes that the downsizing process has its own set of obstacles - from trying to afford food that is proportionately much more expensive than it was before, to living with the quirks of new neighbors like Dusan (Christoph Waltz), a rich playboy who throws lavish parties in his miniature mansion. However, the biggest challenge of all for Paul is meeting a Vietnamese cleaning lady named Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau) who worked as an activist in her country and was downsized against her will, smuggled in a box, and left in the US as she was imprisoned. She becomes Paul's unlikely friend and guide, and they embark on a mission to save Ngoc's fellow refugees. Throughout their journey, Downsizing portrays a number of themes, including environmentalism, the dangers of mainstream societal ideals, loneliness, and the contradictions of human nature. The movie skillfully blends humor, drama, and satire, creating a thought-provoking commentary on humanity's future. The acting performances throughout the movie are outstanding, with Matt Damon delivering a heartfelt portrayal of a man struggling to find meaning in his life, and Hong Chau stealing the show as an unjustly downtrodden but determined and idealistic refugee. In terms of the technical aspect, Downsizing is beautifully shot with breathtaking visuals, especially when it comes to the miniaturized world, which is meticulously crafted and packed with detail. The special effects are top-notch and believable. Overall, Downsizing is a smart and engaging movie that manages to be both funny and touching at the same time. It takes a novel concept and uses it to explore numerous important themes, making for an insightful and rewarding watch.