Tuesday, February 13, 2018


So, the film "Downsizing", is generally about a man and his wife, taking up the option (advanced sci-fi procedure) to surgically reduce themselves at cellular level to roughly 5 inches tall, proportionately. In that fictional society, people opted for the irreversible procedure for various reasons; some to cut carbon footprint, some to start anew in new communities akin to first colonies, but most of them made that life-changing decision to move to Leisureland (the new, small world) because they found that living cost in normal society has taken a toil on them and they wanted to increase their wealth  & net worth exponentially by living small (eg: $140K in normal society = $12mill in Leisureland) 

Unfortunately for Paul (main character), his wife backed out at the last minute and he woke up in Leisureland wife-less. A year later, his wife divorced him and after settling their divorce, Paul was left a pauper even going by Leisure World standards. He ended up working at a call centre, taking online orders for a clothing brand. 

Paul is a good-nature person, no temper, easy-going but boring. 
He soon found himself bored, even as he tried to date again, he was of no calibre as a husband as he does not have much to offer financially (even in Leisureland) so that's a double whammy. 

By chance, he met an interesting neighbour (it's odd that the living complex they live in has a mixture of apartment sizes, some are like ten times bigger than their neighbours', but anyway.) He attended a party and was lured to finding intoxicated fantasies as a form of temporary release. (more like a mental escape from his otherwise dispassionate life).

He came across a cleaning woman who was stealing pain killers from his neighbour's toiletries closet. This woman has an ill-fitting prosthetic leg which led to her awkward gait and chronic tiredness. Paul, being half a doctor (he dropped out from med sch in his earlier life because his mom was sick), couldn't help but was genuinely concerned by the ill-fitting leg, tried in exasperation to ask the women for her leg but the woman wouldn't slow down, she is constantly busy, on-the-move, she has got many tasks in a day, she is always hurrying from errand to another.

Turned out, the women lives in a "migrant" quarters far away from the main Leisureland, the pills she had stolen was for a woman whom she had taken in to care for as the ailing woman was dying without family.

 Paul soon realises that the cleaning woman is a "busy-body", she is endlessly bringing food (discarded food from the big houses she cleans) to the destitute, bringing medicines (more like stolen medicines) to the poor, and taking her cleaning job very seriously.

 As the prosthetic leg was already coming apart, it had completely broke apart when Paul attempted to fix it. The cleaning woman was left without her prosthetic leg for a couple of weeks but she was not slowing down. She made Paul stand-in for her and still went about her busy-body routine, bring food and medicine, as well as giving orders for Paul to do the cleaning work.

Paul found himself "alive" as he gave advice on medical treatments, went about bringing food to the hungry; Paul was mildly fascinated by this newly found life.

 (neighbour teasing Paul)

So anyway, there's a third part to the story which I'll leave out here.

What I take away from this movie is not so much of the environmental issues nor poverty issues but the simple yet complex issue about finding meaning or worthiness in one's life. If you think partying like there's no tomorrow makes you happy, then by all means party. (like how the neighbour does). If you think helping others makes you happy, then by all means go for it. (like the ever busy, cleaning woman). The worst that can happen is having a dull sense of boredom for prolonged periods. That I would say, is depression. It happens to the best of us, it happens to many of us, but it doesn't have to be this way. Open up your hearts, open up your minds, don't be afraid to be judged, don't be afraid to be used. Find yourself.

That's how I feel. IMHO.

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