by Alan L. Chrisman
I just saw an amazing science fiction-romance film on dvd,-UPSIDE DOWN. It was released in 2013, but it’s one that may have slipped under the radar. It stars Kirsten Durst (Spiderman) and Jim Sturgess, the British actor who made his breakthrough in 2007’s Beatles’ musical film, Across the Universe.
It takes place in a world of two extremes-an upside-down planet with opposite gravities. The Bottom is poor (where Sturgess’ character, Adam, lives) and The Top (where Durst’s character, Eden, lives). And the two worlds are not allowed to interact except for the exploitation of the Bottom’s resources. As youngsters and later teenagers, the two main characters find a way to meet and fall in love. But the authorities find out and separate them and Eden falls and Adam believes she has been killed.
But 10 years later, he discovers she is still alive and is determined to infiltrate her UP world and reach her. To do this, he develops an anti-gravity formula (from a secret recipe his aunt used to make flying pancakes), which the rich Top wants to use to stop aging and for facelifts. With this invention, he gets a job in the Top society so he can re-connect with her.
But she, because of the accident, suffers from amnesia and can’t remember their earlier love. He must find and convince her before the authorities, find out. Thus, this is a love story, defying not only society, but gravity itself.
This sets up some very imaginative situations where both Up and Down worlds are shown at the same time, with people and buildings directly upside-down from each other. Some of the greatest aspects about the film, besides the lovers’ story, are the amazing sets, photography and special effects. Its, I think, one of the most beautiful, and evocative science fiction films and it has a sweeping musical background score as well. It is a romantic/fantasy on every level, a sort of science fiction Winter’s Tale, perhaps, which I reviewed before. It is a joint French and Canadian production, directed by an Argentine director, Juan Diego Solanas, but it didn’t get the distribution it deserved.
If you have a romantic heart and enjoy both a visual and emotional treat, you might like UPSIDE/DOWN
See Below film Trailer, "UPSIDE/DOWN: