Upside Down, from writer and director Juan Diego Solanas, depicts the love story of Adam (Jim Sturgess) and Eden (Kirsten Dunst): a couple separated by not only wealth and class differences, but physical gravities that pull in opposite directions. In this fantastical universe, they live on separate planets, which orbit one another.
Eden, coming from a world of privilege, and Adam, from a world of poverty, meet as teenagers at the gravity barrier and fall in love. However, communication between the worlds is strictly prohibited, and they are quickly and violently torn apart by the omnipotent governing corporation, “Transworld.”
Years later, Adam sees Eden working at Transworld, and sets out to find his long lost love at the corporation’s headquarters. Interactions with office workers from up top are strictly forbidden, but Adam quickly bonds with Bob (Timothy Spall) an employee from the other side. Bob aids Adam in his quest as he risks everything to get Eden back.
The film is a beautiful idea, and frankly the effects are visually stunning. Adam lives in an industrial and forgotten world ruled by blue and black hues where it literally rains oil. Eden’s world is rich with warm golds and crimsons. As the film jumps back and forth between these diverse settings, the viewer is taken on a beautiful visual escapade. The film explores the limits of human perception as it uses gravity to play with fantasy. At times, the visuals are rather overwhelming.
Unfortunately, the plot and discourse are underdeveloped. It’s a designer’s dream, but the dialogue is forced and the film is dependent on its aesthetic value. The comic relief comes too late, and without good writing, the actors are left missing a leg to stand on. Add a Deus Ex Machina to the mix, and you leave the theatre grasping for details that simply aren’t there.
In spite of its regrettably thin plot, Upside Down’s scenery is too gorgeous to miss. Upside Down opens March 15th, 2013 in select cities.
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