‘UPSIDE DOWN’ (2012). A sci-fi kind of Romeo and Julie story with Kristen Dunst in the set up of this indie film. Text © Rissi JC

‘UPSIDE DOWN’ (2012)

July 23, 2013 14 Comments

I sincerely think this movie did intend to be better than it is. The concept is here, writers just don’t use the idea to its fullest potential.

Upside Down (2012) Film Review

Young Adam grows up in an orphanage where the only good thing about his life is the weekend visits to his aunt’s home until the day he meets Eden. The two children forge a friendship and grow up meeting in secret.  Little do either of them realize what their blossoming romance means. Their love challenges two very different universes – the two live on opposite universes. While Eden (Kristen Dunst) grows up in an affluent world with endless possibilities, Adam (Jim Sturgess) comes from “below,” the world underneath Eden’s where poverty is the common and the poor struggle to survive. The world directly above theirs is a place that pulls in the opposite direction with its own gravity. 

Discovery of the two meeting in secret leads to ten years of separation and Adam’s belief that Eden has died. When Adam learns that Eden is working for the one company where both races can co-exist, he attempts the impossible; to reunite with Eden.

Discovery of this movie is as the result of a familiar cast. Beyond this, the plot actually did inspire curiosity. During the narrative opening, I’m cautiously optimistic. Adam’s tale of woe sets up his backstory plus shares the reasons behind the universe he and Eden live in. The silly drama makes me wince and yet it does still make me curious to see if or how the dystopian movie will impress.

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Playing with our imagination, in its conceptual stages, this story seems like it’d be quite good. It could be considered a Romeo and Juliet like story. Reminiscing on the film, throughout the runtime, my one wish could be summed up to have experienced “more” from the script, and I wanted this for the script. Upside Down could have been so interest. Instead it works against itself. We painfully watch the googly-eyes (add in his atrocious hair and we’ll just say I am not a fan of the dude) Adam makes at lady love, Eden. This eventually spills over into the sappiness of its ending. There are some good things about the movie. It didn’t bore me and I found in interesting that the characters names are Adam and Eden, mere coincidence? Probably not.  

Upside Down isn’t great. But flipping that over and examining some of its intricacies reveals it’s an interesting piece of film work. There’s some gorgeous frames (like the ending scene) and some dizzying shots (such as the entire film’s spliced two frames of the two worlds), and of course the two opposite gravity universes ups the intrigue. Though it’s an entertaining film, it’s not one I’ll be likely to watch again. To its credit, it is also relatively clean and it was nice to see Kristen Dunst in something again, beyond that, everything was forgettable. 

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You can find Upside Down digitally on Amazon Video

Content: there is some minor “tense” moments when a woman is taken away by force from her home – viewers never learn what happened to her, but suggestions imply it wasn’t good. Men chase characters with weapons and fire on those who are fleeing. Characters kiss and there is an implication [unseen] that they slept together. There may be a minor profanity. The film is PG-13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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  • Raquel July 23, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    I was like 'okay, this doesn't look too bad', but then I found out that Kirsten Dunst is in it and I was like 'nevermind.' haha I do not like that actress!:P The storyline still looks interesting though! haha

    Thanks for the review, hun:) I love your blog.

    • Rissi July 24, 2013 at 12:42 AM

      When one doesn't care for the actors, it can be hard to "like" the movie. For me, I've liked Kristen since Little Women way back when, so it was fun to see her in this, plus as MJ and in miscellaneous other roles. :)

      Thanks for reading, Raquel!

  • Carlyn Brody July 23, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    I had not heard of this film before. I love the storyline, it sounds really interesting. I haven't watched any love stories set in a futuristic world before.

    • Rissi July 24, 2013 at 12:43 AM

      It was interesting, Carlyn! Slowly, I'm moving into some dystopian stories – like The Hunger Games or this film. Some I like, others not so much. :)

      Thanks for reading!

    • Carlyn Brody October 1, 2013 at 8:28 PM

      I did end up watching this movie some months ago. It's certainly a unique world. It made me feel dizzy watching the topsy turvy world and imagining what it was like living there.

    • Rissi October 1, 2013 at 8:39 PM

      …that is true! I thought it was a unique concept, it just didn't play out as brilliantly as it could have.

  • Lizzie July 23, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Oh, I remember seeing a trailer and thinking I'd like to see this movie! And then I kind of forgot about it. It does have a very interesting setting.

    • Rissi July 24, 2013 at 12:46 AM

      My interest was piqued because of its cast, Lizzie then I was glad to find it at the video store. While I am not likely to care if ever I see it again, I don't regret watching it. There is something curious about this genre and setting.

  • Kellie July 24, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    I just saw this one! And I agree with your first statement! It has such potential to be AMAZING, but it somehow left me feeling like something was missing or forgotten when the credits began to roll. Oh well, it was still not a bad way spend a few hours! Could have done worse. ;)

    • Rissi July 24, 2013 at 3:04 AM

      For me, I think it was too "sappy" (immature) to be really good, Kellie (glad to chat with someone who saw this one!). That's ironic coming from me I realize since I am obviously a Hallmark kind of girl but… there you have it! ;)

      I watched the movie by myself and was just telling my mom how I found it interesting there were so many "coincidental" references pointing towards Christianity. The story wasn't trying to be Christian but… there were some implications there for the taking.

      Like you say, it was entertaining (don't regret seeing the movie), it's just not one I'll likely care if I ever see again.

  • Birdie July 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

    I was really intrigued by the trailer of this movie. Pity to hear you didn't think it was very good.

    • Rissi July 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      I don't regret watching it… it just lacked flair, Birdie. Not sure I can put my finger on what was missing to be honest, but something was amiss. When you see it, I hope you enjoy! :)

  • Lianne @ caffeinatedlife.net July 26, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    I'm not reading your review just yet because I want to watch the movie first but awesome that you've watched it! And ahhh! Definitely need to get around to it sometime in the near future; I remember being absolutely amazed by the concept of this movie when I saw the trailer. Definitely need more unique/interesting sci-fi movies out there (or movies with sci-fi elements…however you want to interpret that, LOL) :)

    • Rissi July 26, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      Cannot wait to read/hear your impressions, Lianne. And since you don't wish to be "spoiled" about anything in the film, I'll refrain from discussing the movie. :)

      Agree – when done well, sci-fi movies are brilliant and fun!

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