Movie review: Everything about ‘Everything, Everywhere, All At Once’
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But fate is cruel to Evelyn in “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once,” and she is quickly given a new mission: to save the multiverse from an omniversal creature by verse-jumping through various realities to gain new talents.
People nowadays tend to be fascinated by the multiverse. You’ve seen it in Spiderman: No Way Home and Into the Spider-Verse. In “Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” you can see it. The multiverse is simply one facet of an ongoing curiosity with what-if scenarios in the real world.
What would have happened if I had said yes? What would life have been like if I had said no? These questions allowed us to spend some time imagining ourselves somewhere else than here, somewhere more beautiful and less demanding of us than our current circumstances.
Evelyn Wong, played by Michelle Yeoh, is in this scenario. While handling her daughter’s coming out, Evelyn is trying to operate the family laundromat, placate her father, instruct her husband what to do, and organize a neighborhood get-together. She also has to deal with her taxes! (I’ve been personally targeted by the IRS and learned the hard way how many forms I need to complete.) Nobody wants to be in Evelyn’s situation, and we all have a feeling she doesn’t either.
She finds herself shifting between timelines in which she is a martial arts movie star, a hibachi chef, and the current, most depressing reality, in which she is fighting for her life in an IRS building.
The special effects transport the audience to these characters’ world. As Evelyn journeys through space and time, she is forced to confront the questions she has been avoiding: Does she truly love her husband for who he is? Why is she so unhappy?
When you gather all the threads of life into a ball of yarn and knit something with it, you get “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once.” It’s a kaleidoscope of different generations within the same family, as well as distinct cinema genres that all share the same art medium.
The movie addresses Evelyn’s responsibilities as a daughter and a mother, as someone who must meet expectations as well as someone who sets them for others to meet, and connects the two to show how one has influenced the other. It combines components that appear to be unrelated to create something new. Consider fusion cuisine, but only the good sort.
The process is both amusing and heartbreaking, with spectators laughing one moment and grieving the next. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the directing combination behind “Swiss Army Man” and “Turn Down For What,” didn’t squander a single line in the script, using every opportunity to serve gags, tension builders, and, in most cases, both.
Many people believe that we are living in the worst timeline ever. Perhaps we are, just as our Evelyn wound up folding and ironing clothes for a living despite her immense power and potential. But even if we’re only poppy seeds on a bagel, we’re poppy seeds together.