Film Review: Downsizing
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Downsizing is director Alexander Payne’s high-concept satire that asks us what the world would be like if people could be shrunk down to five inches in height. Unfortunately, what the film presents instead is an overly obvious, message-filled bore that you’d be best off avoiding. The film follows middle-aged Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) who decides, with his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig), to shrink himself down to five inches tall, in a process called downsizing so that they can have a fresh start in life. However, not everything goes to plan and before long Paul finds himself at the heart of events that seem to concern the future of the world. Downsizing's odd concept had a lot of potential and for the first act at least we see it mostly fulfilled. Despite its absurdity, watching the process of Paul and Audrey prepare to be downsized is pretty interesting, as are the effects downsizing has on the world overall, with a clear social and political divide emerging between big people and small. We also see the quirky way in which people would practically be downsized, and the sequence that shows this process is definitely one of the film's more enjoyable. Despite being accompanied by some very ham-fisted satire then, this first chunk of the film is mostly entertaining.
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