20130107

A film review: 'Upside Down'


Origin: France, Canada
Language: English
Director & writer: Juan Diego Solanas
Producers: Claude Léger, Dimitri Rassam, Aton Soumache, Jonathan Vanger, Alexis Vonarb
Casts: Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst, Timothy Spall
Genres: Romance / science fiction
Release: August 22, 2012
Studios: Onyx Films, Studio 37
Distributors: Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Millenium Films

I didn't know how I knew about the film, really. I think it was through random readings of Wikipedia articles that perhaps made me found out about it (yeah, I do that sometimes)? When I stumbled upon it, the interesting spin on gravity is what sold me (hard to believe it's not Kirsten Dunst that got me, huh?).

The general overview of the film is this: it's about Adam (Jim Sturgess) and his dedication in reuniting with his girlfriend Eden (Kirsten Dunst). Problem is, they are from totally different worlds of differing gravity rules, and defying those rules might bring harm to both of their worlds.

Here's how things went in the film. Personally, I found out that in order to mask its shallowness, they introduced this kind of trippy concept to gravity; thus, explaining the stupid things that Adam would do to get his girl back. Also, because of the trippy gravity concept, that in turn affects the setting of the film; Adam is from Down Below, a world with serious poverty problem, while Eden is a citizen of Up Top, a super-wealthy metropolis situated on the skies of Down Below. On a visual level, it's like almost on par with what you see in Inception (I'm comparing this film with the said example due to both of them revolving around a distorted reality/world/universe). It's sorta breath-taking and very detailed. I was particularly amazed (and disgusted) on the excess oil from Up Top that passes on as rain when it hits the industrial area of Down Below. It really shows the scumbaggery of the Up Top citizens. Sadly, most of them are merely backdrops and acted nothing more as a land for the actors to do their thing. It would be amazing if there was something god damn epic that shall obliterate these worlds because of the couple's somewhat dysfunctional and forbidden relationship like an armageddon or something, but... meh! Nothing of THAT proportion EVER happened!

Plot wise? It's freaking empty. Yes. Really. Adam may hold some sort of secret that might change the world and all, but all he ever wanted was to see his girl... and that's it. But the story insisted that Adam must have some other things to do (a.k.a. a subplot) in order to make the story have more weight, I presume? I don't know. The writing's just kind of lazy  to me. I really think that the explanation on the rules of gravity in the film's introduction and Adam's back story were the only parts where an actual writing were involved. Even Adam himself was unsure of where his crazy plans are heading through out the entire film; everything that he did was... kinda rushed. In other departments, especially the dialogues, were well... boring... or maybe... just ordinary. It's not smart either. I don't know how to describe it with words. My sister (yes, I watched this film with her) called the dialogues, no, MOST moments in the film as 'cheesy.' You kinda have a point there.

My final verdict, you ask? If you're the kind to explore new concept and gives little damn about the story, be my guest. Wanna find an involving romantic love story with a different spin? It's not here. You'll already know where everything is going, despite the marvelous visual effects and the trippy gravity concept. A+ for the concept, F for the writing. This film could've benefited from a better exploration on the couple and how their love would affect their worlds. Do a little something like Titanic and it'll be a-okay.

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