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YMMV / Downsizing

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  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Many audience members were appalled by Ngoc Lan Tran's accent, claiming it was a racist caricature. As both linguists and the actress herself have noted though, itís actually a very accurate heavy Vietnamese accent, which would be expected of a recent immigrant. Many have also argued that the inability of some critics to see anything about the character beyond the accent is indicative of their own bias. Hong Chau, the actress, is herself the daughter of Vietnamese immigrants with an accent of this kind.
  • Arc Fatigue: It takes a full half hour for Paul to actually downsize in a 2 and a half hour movie.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Many see Audrey backing out as a disgusting betrayal and a cowardly act. Others, however, point out the fact that she was visibly uncomfortable with the whole idea from the beginning, there is no going back once it's done, the downsized folk are victims of a lot of prejudice from society, and as the film goes on, we learn that the downsized world is far from the rags to riches paradise that it is made out to be.
  • Misaimed Marketing: Several of the trailers focus on Paul's emotional self-discovery after being shrunk and his exploration of the new environment as a feel-good self-improvement story. They don't even mention that the entire downsizing process was invented as an environmentalist objective, or that the back end of the movie deals with Paul facing the extinction of humanity.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: After divorcing from Paul, Audrey basically disappears from the film. Her reason for not going with the downsizing is also never really explored further than a plot device to further Paul's storyline. Doesn't help that she is portrayed by Kristen Wiig, who has a penchant for both dramatic and comedic movies.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The idea of a society of shrunken people carries with it a ton of potential dangers. Things like rain and natural disasters would be even more devastating than they would normally be, and normal-sized animals would effectively be dangerous Kaiju to the Leisurelanders. Early in the film, it's made clear that there's normal-sized people who hate the shrunken people for economical reasons. If giant animals are scary, imagine the damage a politically motivated normal-sized anti-shrinking terroristic hate group could do. Somehow Leisureland miraculously is protected from such hazards, with no explanation given and none of the ideas explored, only that it doesn't seem to fit the sociological or environmental themes the writers were aiming for.
    • It's also briefly touched on that downsizing is used by repressive governments to silence dissenters and undesirables. Lan Tran herself was shrunken by the Vietnamese government after a lengthy prison stay for her activism. It's very easy to see why downsizing technology would be very dangerous in the hands of the wrong people, but aside from Lan Tran's backstory and a few throwaway comments, it's never elaborated on.
  • The Woobie:
    • Lan Tran. She, along with her sister, got into environmental/political activism when the Vietnamese government destroyed her village to make a dam. She and her sister were soon arrested and thrown in a horrible prison where the prisoners were barely given anything to eat and lived in terrible conditions. Lan Tran's sister ended up dying of pneumonia and Lan Tran herself was downsized against her will along with other prisoners. Along with more than a dozen others, she was then shipped to the United States in a TV box; everyone but Lan Tran died and she had to get one of her legs amputated due to suffering from gangrene. And that's just her backstory.
    • Dr. Jorgen Asbjørnsen, the inventor of the downsizing procedure. He originally envisioned downsizing as a way to solve global warming and overpopulation, and he believed it would save the world. Unfortunately, his invention ended up being used to commit human rights atrocities, like what happened to Lan Tran, which leaves him guilt-stricken; his wife even says that he's lost a lot of sleep over how his procedure was abused. To make matters even worse, it later turns out that his invention came too late; not enough people have undergone the procedure to save humanity from extinction.