A Multiverse of Madness: 5 Things I Loved About Everything Everywhere All At Once
A fearless film and easily my favorite so far this year.
I had no idea the film Everything Everywhere All At Once existed until my husband showed me the trailer, and it promised to be everything I wanted in a movie. For one, it's like those loopy time travel stuff that I really enjoy. And it looked to be equal parts chaotic, dark, weird, funny, action-packed, mind-boggling and thought-provoking, but also emotional and family-centered.
It turned out to be everything I wanted in a movie.
Oh, yes, I'd seen Doctor Strange 2 two weekends prior. It was fun, but Everything Everywhere All At Once was something else entirely. Described as an "absurdist comedy-drama film," it follows Evelyn, a Chinese-American woman who discovers that we live in a multiverse and that she's the one who's supposed to save it from a reality-bending entity seeking its destruction.
Here's the trailer for those who've yet to see this incredible film:
I can't continue raving about the movie while speaking in riddles and going around in circles, so, here's a large warning label:
SPOILERS FOLLOW 🥯
(I'm sorry, I had to.)
But yes, here are five things I loved about this movie.
1. Their fresh take on how multiverses work.
You know the drill: somewhere out there, in another life, you made a different choice, resulting to a different you. Or there's the whole fate/predestination thing where you wind up with the same result no matter what you do or how you try to change stuff. Everything Everywhere All At Once used the former, but it brought something else to the table: the characters were able to "connect" with their alternate selves and, under the right conditions, were also able to access their abilities and memories. (There's some element of possession, so to speak, but it's a fractured experience when it occurs, and the person will be in and experiencing two realities at the same time. And it's more of "downloading" the abilities instead of playing the other self like a puppet.)
So if you're a jack of all trades but a master of none, you're actually in luck! Because you probably became everything you ever wanted to be, in all those other universes. Just not at the same time. Unless you transcended, like Jobu Tupaki.
2. The leading man was a nice guy.
Evelyn was an Asian mother, played by Michelle Yeoh, so I expected her to be strong and fierce. What I didn't expect was for her husband, Waymond, to be portrayed as a nice guy, subverting the "bad boy" trope plenty seem to like. He's meek, he's goofy, he's kind. Sure, in the Alphaverse he's a total badass, but at the core he's not your typical macho, super attractive leading man. And that made me so happy! Who says nice guys finish last? Who says being kind makes you weak?
3. The movie wasn't afraid to get weird.
And I'm not talking about the googly eyes. The silly, 99% of the time insane things the characters had to do to access their counterparts' abilities? The ridiculous fight scenes? The hotdog hands universe? The raccoon? Jobu Tupaki's outrageous fashion? The bagel? The scene with the rocks? Oh, those were weird, but I really enjoyed them. Just the sort of madness I expected from the multiverse, in fact!
Alpha Waymond's "pep talk," when he basically told Evelyn that she was the chosen one because she sucked at everything, was also weirdly hilarious. Especially when you remember that in the trailer, it's cut in a way that the focus is on the part where he goes "every failure you've been through has led you to this moment." But hey, he's not wrong.
4. It also wasn't afraid to get emotional.
As over the top and confusing some parts got - like that huge THE END in the middle that had me sitting there all ????? for at least a few seconds - the story was fundamentally relatable. It was a story about a family and relationships. It was a story about identity. It was a story about the meaning of life and our existence. And the emotional scenes were not cheesy or simply there to fulfill a story requirement. I certainly got teary-eyed in the cinema, and we heard sniffling from the back of the room.
5. And it showed how stressful taxes and being audited could be.
I'm an accountant, okay? We even have memes for that.
About the author
Filipino author, singer-songwriter and theatre actress. Loves writing fantasy short stories, composing songs for books, and reading SFF and YA. Also writes romance, horror and scifi. Married and based in the UK. www.mariesinadjan.com
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
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