Wednesday, March 13, 2013
MINI-REVIEW: Upside Down
Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst
March 15, 2013
1 hour 47 minutes
I've been looking for an original fantasy movie for quite some time, and finally it has come in the form of 'Upside Down.' This is a mainstream movie that's being released in a limited release, which is a shame because this could have potentially had decent box office revenue had it been released wide with a bigger studio. Instead, this is a film that few will see, but the few who do may enjoy it. This film takes the forbidden love story and adds a new twist onto it: the two people who fall in love are from two corresponding planets with two different gravitational pulls. The two lovers belong to each planet, and they can't be together unless they're held down by something in the other world. When the government separates the two for over a decade, the man of the couple, named Adam, travels to find his former lover, named Eden, after finding out where she works. This is one of those hidden gems that, while flawed, is still original and quite entertaining. If you find 'Upside Down' somewhere, somehow, chances are that you will be happy that you saw it.
The best thing about the movie by far is the originality of the story. Writer/Director Juan Solanas clearly showed in the script and the stellar visuals that he wanted to get his voice out there and wanted this movie exactly the way it was made from first frame to last. The problem with the script though is that the movie sort of abruptly ends and sets up a sequel that probably won't happen. I understand that this was supposed to be a character story and not the story of the two worlds becoming one, as said in the opening monologue, but I feel that they could have added another 20 or so minutes to properly wrap up the story and show these two worlds become connected. Still though, the story, script, and incredible visuals make up for that, as do the great performances from Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess, who give two of the best performances of their careers. Even Timothy Spall delivers a great performance that shows that he can play characters other than a whiny villain.
Not much else is there to say about 'Upside Down.' The visuals in the movie are so outstanding that one may be surprised that this is getting a limited release in the US. Kirsten Dunst, Jim Sturgess, and Timothy Spall all deliver on great performances, and have good chemistry together. The story, while anti-climatic, is original and refreshing, which is hard to find these days in movies. Overall, if this movie comes your way in any shape or form, I'd say check it out. With all of the constant sequels, adaptations, and remakes these days, it's nice to find a movie that feels new and looks astonishing. 'Upside Down' is one of those hidden gems that's destined for cult status once it finds an audience.