Star Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis & ensemble.
Director: Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert.
What’s Good: The absurdity married with a message that is insanely satisfying. It brings you to the edge of the seat and pushes you back with the same force and then turns your seat upside down.
What’s Bad: If you don’t experience this on the big screen.
Loo Break: You should not move your eyes away from the screen even for a second.
Watch or Not?: Watch, Watch & Watch!
Language: English & Cantonese (with subtitles).
Available On: In Theatres Near You!
Runtime: 141 Minutes.
A Chinese immigrant Evelyn (Michelle) is living a life of killed dreams and with her family running a laundromat, only to realise one day that her existence is for the greater good and to save this multiverse of madness which is at risk due to a supervillain. But even the villain falls close to home and our home-grown Super Woman has to now stop the evil and save the world at the same time.
Everything Everywhere All at Once Movie Review: Script Analysis
It took me 30 minutes to find the exact way to describe the amazing insanity I have been through in those 141 minutes. So I am going to try and there must be more than a zillion interpretations to this story, so don’t come at me if mine doesn’t sit with yours. Ever thought of how life would be in an alternate reality? What if there are more of us living the best/worst of us? Even interesting, what if we could teleport? Would that make us happy or it is now and the love we have with us right here enough to not delve into the multiverse?
Writer-director duo Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert take all these questions in their second film and make a product so absurd that it feels brainless but ends up being the smartest. But the journey to prove smartness is so crazy that smart isn’t the word that pops up in your mind until the end. In their first film where farting was a legitimate superpower (Swiss Army Man, starring Paul Dano & Daniel Radcliffe), the filmmakers teased the concept of Everything Everywhere All At Once, and in their second they take it ahead.
Of course, there is a multiverse, and traveling through it. Channels and gates to travel through the multiverse, dents and cracks created and the outcome of the cracks caused and bizarre ways to mend them. But at the heart of it, Dan and Daniel both shape a story about bonds and love and adulation. In Evelyn, they shape a woman who not just belongs to an oppressed immigrated community amid the white folks, but has also oppressed her inner self that wants to fly. She is woman who wants the best for her family, but is also conservative about her daughter being gay. She has tried her hands at being a writer, teacher, singer and many things but possibly failed.
So when such a woman who also has a husband who is over-optimistic with the scarcity-prone life, is given a chance to live herself from the alternate universes, what does she learn? The script that finds solace is chaos and absurdity, never really deviates from its core even when it looks like it does. It is about Evelyn understanding that nowhere in this gigantic space is a version of her living without a problem. The writing even pitches her against her own daughter and further extends to the fact about how it is love that conquers even the multiverse.
There is a universe where people have hotdogs as fingers, or one where people are legit dolls, or crayon sketches. There is even one where they are rocks and they talk to each other. Dan and Daniel seem to have gone into the most bizarre corners of their heart and mind to tell the simplest of the tale in the most complex of the manner without make it a circus.
There are several Easter eggs and homages throughout the film. The funniest and the cutest is to Ratatouille. Decode some more for yourself and let me know in the comments. Make sure you listen to the music carefully too. Also, won’t ignore, the climax action sequence feels a bit stretched.
Everything Everywhere All at Once Movie Review: Star Performance
Michelle Yeoh is a revelation. Evelyn as a character goes through a transformation from being a self cursing, not confident, sulking person to a fighter metaphorically and literally. She has to act like she has experienced the multiverse and that too sometimes multiple variations in the same frame. She’s got some tricks to be the boss and we must ask her about them.
Stephanie Hsu as Joy (Evelyn’s daughter) is a treat. She is the villain, but not exactly the villain. Playing the campiest character, Hsu has tough shoes to fill because everyone around her is at their best form and she stands bang opposite everybody and is the most vibrant, so most visible. Especially in the scenes she is at combat, the eccentric nature she brings is such a joy.
Ke Huy Quan supports all of this with his brilliant performance. The actor is playing two parts (you will see) and pulls them off so well that you can differentiate between the two even when nothing about his look has changed.
Jamie Lee Curtis is here too and the queen deserves a special mention. She is actually having a lot of fun with this part and you can see her creating a character that cannot be explained in words actually.
Everything Everywhere All at Once Movie Review: Direction, Music
One cannot describe the minds of Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert really. Their direction is wild and unpredictable. There is no pattern or blueprint that is visible (in a good way). You cannot guess what the next move will be. But their heart is in the right place and they make sure it stays. I can only imagine the nightmare of shooting this monster of a movie.
Talking of nightmare, DOP Larkin Seiple must have had sleepless nights cracking the visual department. Because there is just chaos from the word go and till the end. There is not even a minute where the film lets you breathe and that vibe entirely depends on the DOP and Larkin succeeds too.
The music is brilliant as Son Lux understands the nature of the movie to not keep any similarities between two music pieces.
Everything Everywhere All at Once Movie Review: The Last Word
I can keep talking talking about this one because there is more than enough to dissect. But anything more than this means spoilers and I don’t want to spoil this masterpiece for anyone. Go for it and don’t forget to fasten your seat belts, because it’s a mad rollercoaster on steroids.
Everything Everywhere All at Once Trailer
Everything Everywhere All at Once releases on 16 September, 2022.
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