This movie UPSIDE NMOⱭ is so weird, in a good way. If you have decided to watch this at a cinema, it is of vital importance that you don’t miss the beginning of the show. Otherwise, you would end up clueless all the way till the end. Before I write more on the movie, here is a little story of how Cynthia and I were nearly late for Upside Down.
Our buddy TK has bought the tickets, on a Sunday morning, while Cynthia and I were doing housework. Such great friend he is. The Google+ event invite said 7.20 pm. 4.43 pm, TK messaged us saying that he has parked the car at the cinema. I replied, “So early?!” Then he told us that oops, the show was going to start at 5.20 pm instead of 7.20 pm. No time to argue. I quickly jumped out of my computer chair, dashed into the toilet, and changed. By the time I reached our condo lobby, it was 4.58 pm. We have 22 minutes to run to our car, drive into Orchard – which is 15 km away from our home – find a parking lot, take a lift from basement to level 1, switch to another lift in order to reach level 5, pop into the toilets for a quick release, take the escalator from level 5 to level 6, and run into the movie theater.
We missed it by 1 minute. It was all good. The movie was not started. Certainly the most exciting thing we have done in the entire weekend. Maybe the entire 2013 thus far.
Now, back to the movie, in case you may miss the first couple of minutes of the show, in this alternative reality of one moon and two worlds, here are the three rules. Yep. Like all good sci-fi stories, there are three rules.
- All matter is pulled by the gravity of the world that it comes from, and not the other.
- An object’s weight can be offset by matter from the opposite world (inverse matter).
- After some time in contact, matter in contact with inverse matter burns.
Because the two worlds co-exist in an upside down fashion, the entire movie is – for lack of better word – weird. People from either world interact in an upside manner. From the presentation point of view, some clips are shot upside down. It may sound strangely uncomfortable. But it works surprisingly well on screen.
The two worlds are not equal. As an analogy, think of the age of colonization. The ‘down’ world supplies the resource to the ‘up’ world to value-add and the products are sold back to the ‘down’ world. Hence, the ‘up’ world is rich while the ‘down’ world is not. People from either world do not visit the world they do not belong (see rule #1). They may interact at mid points. Like the mid-floor of a tall building that connect between the two worlds.
With this setup, it seems impossible for people from different worlds to fall in love. But, the forbidden love affair is the essence of the story. Jim Sturgess plays the Adam character who comes from the ‘down’ world while Kristen Dunst plays the ‘up’ world Eden character. Jim Sturgess, I must say, is very charming on screen. His narration though, is utterly lifeless to me. That is my only complain to this movie. Interestingly, almost too coincidentally, Kristen Dunst has outdone her signature-upside-down-Spiderman-kiss with an … even better upside-down kiss in this movie.
The chemistry between Adam and Eden is convincing. Such a joy to watch. I would say, some of the kissing scenes rival those from … Twilight. And because I was so much drawn by the romance bits, some of the sci-fi bits might have been overlooked until I walked out from the theater. For example, can two persons from either world be in contact with one another for long? Wouldn’t they catch fire? Can a person from the ‘down’ world consume food from the ‘up’ world? Wouldn’t that person’s stomach burn? Is it possible that two planets maintain a consistent distance so much so that a building that connects the two planets does not get torn apart? How do people from different worlds procreate? Wouldn’t the womb … burn?
Even more strangely, the film starts with a Chinese production company logo and ends with a song in Chinese. Perhaps I am thinking too much. There seems to be a sequel though. We shall see. I enjoy watching UPSIDE NMOⱭ. It is likely to be a sci-fi story that blows your mind away.