In a classic, reinvented tale of forbidden love, Upside Down follows Adam (Jim Sturgess) and Eden's (Kirsten Dunst) complicated romance that began when they were only children. Because the lovebirds belong to two different social classes and live in different worlds (literally), they are eventually separated.
Set in twinned worlds with opposite gravities, she living in the wealthy world above and he in the poverty-stricken world below, Eden and Adam keep their love alive by secretly meeting where the planets are closest. Adam finds a way to be with Eden by pulling her down to his world by a rope. However, it isn’t long before interplanetary border-patrol agents discover and attack them and Eden falls backs to her world — seemingly dead.
Ten years later, Adam discovers that Eden is alive and working in the only structure that connects their two worlds —TransWorld. In an attempt to find her, he develops a radical face-lift cream for TransWorld, while slowly infiltrating the upper world and risking the possibility of bursting into flames.
Writer-director Juan Solanas’ second feature film since Northeast is quite simply visually stunning and has two talented leads with Sturgess and Dunst. They give splendid performances that keep us rooting for them the whole way through and distract us from the occasional flaw.
One of the film's flaws is that the dystopian romance lacks proper development. Lengthy voiceovers and unnecessary dialogue lessen the film's visual power. In addition, not enough time is spent building Eden and Adam's relationship from childhood to teenagers.
But despite this, Upside Down is truly an original and beautifully shot film with brilliant design. Additionally, the film surprises viewers at the end when the forbidden love storyline gets a twist and audiences are left with a significant and jarring revelation. It is clear that a sequel may be in order, which is just what the audience wants – more of Solanas’ twinned worlds and all of its wonders.