Michaela Merz

Downsizing – and the trap of the trailers

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With my youngest we wanted to escape from the dull weather in the Mittelland. The cloud cover weighs on one’s spirits despite sport and exercise in the fresh air. So we sat down with the internet and looked at the extracts of current films. Downsizing looked really funny and the two trailers we watched were without exception amusing. That’s the right one for us, we thought, and got ready for the evening performance.

The idea is brilliant and captivating. The realisation excellent. Norwegian scientists find the solution of how to shrink organic matter without damage. Normal humans become 12 cm tall midgets. Whereby tooth fillings, hair and replacement limbs don’t shrink. That can produce a lot of fun. Or so we thought. Watch out. The film is not funny at all. If I had to describe it, I would have chosen the words socio-political sci-fi drama on the bleak side despite the colourful pictures. To call this film a comedy is evidence of a very special sense of humour. This sense of pitch-black humour is not mine or my son’s.

The trailers have misled us, as so often. I felt cheated. For the umpteenth time already in the cinema? I know. The trailers contain the best scenes and occasionally it was good. Very often the trailers make the films seem better than they are. That’s good for the producer, because it brings in more cash. But the spectator feels stupid. I must find a really good film blog for the future to avoid such disappointments.

If we had wanted with my youngest to see a controversial social drama (almost a tragedy), we would certainly have been right. After the film we could have discussed for at least an hour the distribution of wealth in society, equal opportunity and what it means to leave someone in the lurch. So far, so good. The film is suitable for educational purposes. For laughter and a relaxed evening, the film is quite unsuitable. After the bleak day we also had a bleak evening. On the piazza in Locarno in August, when the temperatures are high, it might be endurable, in the Zürich fog it weighed heavily on our mood.

If you have a tip for me where I can find honest information about films, let me know so that in future I am spared such disappointments.

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