The movie is making fun of leftism. It uses allegory to get around the censorship from the Left. It will make sense if you think of:
- Downsizing as all forms of leftism: progressivism, environmentalism, communism, globalism etc.
- Matt Damon’s character as the naive American everyman who marvels at all progress whether good or bad.
- Scandinavian villagers as people who are the radical left democratic socialists who believe who in many leftist utopian visions.
- Vietnamese immigrant refugee maid as the true activist/leftist who really wants to help people without believing in any ideology/agenda. i.e. good old fashioned Charity.
Downsizing (2017) is not as this New York Times review suggested disappointing. I am sure the reviewer was expecting a movie that preaches the virtues of the Left like environmentalism and anti-capitalism. It is a modern Lilliputian tale meant to be an allegory for an unspeakable truth much like the original Gulliver’s Travels.
Spoilers follow after here.
The director used science fiction and progressive tropes to make a mockery of the progressivism without losing (((movie distribution rights))) for being anti-progressive.
The story is an allegory of the insanity to which the USA and the world are progressing through the eyes of an American Everyman who represents the American public.
The technology for downsizing comes from Scandinavia in this movie, which is rather an odd claim for a movie made in a country (USA) which invented almost every technology in your room. This refers to how progressives view Scandinavia as the source of all human progress including technological progress.
Next, we hear about how by using this new piece of technology (at a high personal cost) you are helping the environment and fighting consumerist capitalism without the needing to stop consuming. But common people finally make the choice because they can become rich overnight by needing less. Little is mentioned about how things are cheaper after downsizing because the slaves of the big world make them. This is a satirical commentary on how progressives want to be anticapitalist consumerist environmentalists living in wealth and abundance by outsourcing all production to invisible foreign slaves who pollute the external world.
Then a contrast is shown between the Vietnamese woman, whom the TV news claims, is an environmental activist but in fact is not an environmentalist at all. She was protesting a government forced eviction of her villagers, and was downsized in prison against her will and lost her leg trying to escape in a parcel box.
The naive Everyman loses his wife trying to become rich overnight by downsizing. The wife did not have the balls to undergo the lifestyle change.
Then our hero tries to date downsized single moms and realizes they are difficult like everyone else. Being progressive didn’t improve his chances with women. Nor are progressive single moms easy, good-looking and loose.
Then the everyman meets a smalltime Scandinavian smuggler cum socialite who downsized to become rich too. He smuggles small cigars made by big slaves in Serbia. At his party Everyman meets the first baby grown to become a teenager among the Small, who the socialite reveals to be having sex with all genders and animals. This again is an allegory of how the progressives are all selfish hypocrites and decadent at the core.
Then our hero everyman meets the Vietnamese environmental activist who he expected to be giving speeches and preaching environmentalism but works as a maid in the smuggler’s house and lives and tries to help her poor neighbors. The everyman also helps her neighbors because of the guilt of not being able to fix the prosthetics of her amputated leg. ( This is probably an allegory about the failed American military intervention in Vietnamese politics, and how the Vietnamese communists tried to force certain political views on its people against their will.)
Then the smugglers invite Everyman to go to Scandinavia to help with smuggling, and the Vietnamese woman joins too having been invited by, the Scandinavian inventor of downsizing, back when she lost her leg. (This is an allegory for the Scandinavian utopia – a place where progressive heroes go to after heroic deeds)
While in Scandinavian Lilliput the visitors from the USA realize the place is a cult run by the scientist who plans to take an entire village of bearded, braided Viking-looking Scandinavians underground for 8000 years so as to survive the human extinction caused by climate change.
The smuggler and the Vietnamese activist don’t want to go underground for hiding saying the cult will probably kill each other underground long before humans go extinct. The American almost goes underground but at the last minute decides to not go full progressive retard like the Scandinavian kumbaya singing progressives.