I come to you with mixed feelings about the movie "Downsizing" starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Hong Chua. The film has a couple of strong messages that we can review in a moment but, my main complaint is simple misdirected marketing. After viewing the trailer and reading the synopsis, I went into this film with the full understanding that it was going to be a light-hearted comical\social satire with maybe one or two messages that sum up the films main purpose. Instead we are given a rather heavy drama with two or three messages that build on one another rather nicely but, take too long to develop into the main points.
Message# 1: Be thankful for what you have. Sometimes it's the hardships that you know and have experienced that will be your best teacher in life. In the film Matt Damon's character, Paul Safranek want's to provide his wife with a better home and a new life; like most people, funds aren't always readily available. The goal of Downsizing is to reduce ones carbon footprint significantly, allowing their money to stretch much further over time. He decides to go through with it but, not without consequence.
What we learn from Paul repeatedly throughout the film is, we can wish there was an alternative plan or the grass may seem greener on the other side but, if we maneuver what we are already given and make sense of what we should already be grateful for, we're ultimately better off.
Downsizing (2017) Hong Chua and Matt Damon.
Message# 2: Humanity and compassion are behavioral practices that still very much matter. The character of Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chua), the Vietnamese dissident that was downsized against her will as punishment shows us this. Her character is truly one of the strong points of the film. The care and compassion for other human beings really shine through her in the 2nd and 3rd act of this film.
Message# 3: Just because an idea is new doesn't mean that it's good. If history has taught us anything as occupants of this planet, we should know that tampering with the natural order of our existence opens unknown doors that may cause subtle advantages and/or catastrophic disadvantages. Downsizing feels like an excellent idea on paper but, what are we really making ourselves vulnerable to?
Keep in mind these are thoughts for discussion. This is still a satire that simply offers an entertaining point of view. I do wish it was more humorous as it seemed to take itself just a tad too seriously. It clocked in at just over 2 hours, it could've been edited down to about an hour and a half.
The film did have some good cinematography and writing however, adding humor with a stronger finish would've made it an easier meal to digest.
See, only if interested in the subject matter.