Alexander Payne’s ‘Downsizing‘ hasn’t been making a killing at the box office but the opening to the film initially almost killed off most of the human population! The idea for it was hinted at in the third act of the movie so where this leads into is partially a spoiler if you haven’t seen it. While not one of Matt Damon‘s bestselling works, the movie itself is solid even if it does come with an extensive 2-hour and 15-minute run time which many would probably be more comfortable sitting through in the comfort of their own homes.
With that in mind, it isn’t too surprising that the scene was cut.
The setup in the third act of the movie is that Damon’s Paul Safranek ended up in Norway for a special trip. While there, he finds out that there is a doomsday plan in place which was created in conjunction with the shrinking program. If the planet ended up dying they had prepared by making a massive, to those now shrunk, biosphere underground which could keep what was left of humanity alive for generations and hopefully give them a chance to either fix the world or develop a way to leave the Earth.
This leads us to the alternate introduction which I think would have made the film more enjoyable even with sticking in the extra few minutes. As Payne describes it:
“There were a few scenes, and a framing device – that all of this is being told like a myth from tiny people 5000 years in the future. The big extinction did come, wiped everyone out, and then we pick up the story with the tiny people who have repopulated the planet coming out of the vault 5000 years in the future. And an old storyteller is telling children around a campfire, ‘Years ago, the world was ruled by giants.’ ‘Ohhh!’ ‘But the giants were always hungry, and they fished all the seas, and killed all the animals, and burned down all the forests, and made the world unbearably hot!’ ‘Ohhh!’ And then he starts to tell the story of Paul Safranek.”
As “the film was running long” it ended up having to be cut. While the story works without it, the premise could have made things vastly more interesting. Payne still hopes to see it used at some point which could either be a Director’s Cut or just deleted scenes on the home release.
Do you think that this introduction would have made ‘Downsizing’ a more enjoyable movie? Would the experience of watching this been different for you if you knew what was to come? Share your thoughts below!
Source: Cinema Blend