Downsizing is a tricky film to give a synopsis for and clearly a difficult one to market based on the almost fraudulent trailers. This is a light drama about social injustice and environmentalism masquerading as a high concept comedy. It’s quirky, but ultimately it’s mishmash of ideas results in a dull directionless affair.
The plot is that scientists have invented a method to shrink people in an attempt to reduce humans impact on the planet. This approach is adopted to a small extent around the world and we meet Paul and Audrey Safranek (Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig) who strapped for cash decide to downsize. From this point many different ideas are covered, but never very satisfactorily.
Paul is a sad man who is pushed around by every woman in his life but doesn’t seem to grow. The comedy element seems to be discarded shortly after the downsizing. Social injustice is touched upon both in relation to “small” people’s impact on the economy and the fact there are still people required to do the jobs rich people don’t want. And then we return to environmental issues. Whatever the social/environmental message was, I’m not sure the high concept shrinking helped its cause.