It’s hard to explain where the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once goes, but the journey is a delight.
A couple weeks ago I saw one of the most life changing movies I’ve ever seen, Everything Everywhere All at Once, directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. The movie, led by the amazing actress Michelle Yeoh, was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I had seen good reviews on Twitter and was recommended to see it by coworkers. I expected a funny action movie, but I received much more than that. I was simply blown away after seeing it.
It starts with Evelyn Wang, an immigrant laundromat owner, who lives in constant stress, much of it stemming from the fact that she just wants to be successful. To Evelyn, her gay daughter and seemingly unhelpful husband are holding her back from making her father proud of her. She’s struggling to feel good enough and therefore blames it on her family.
If you’re not empathetic enough, you start to not like Evelyn at the beginning of the story. It’s brilliant to see the technicality of multiverse dimension hopping, as it’s become more relevant in movies it seems. In the superhero movies we don’t see multiple versions of a person in one scene, they just go there and become that person. Here, we see the switch between dimensional universes, and the person is unaware their other dimensional self is coming through. By the end of the story you’ll love all the characters in all of their own ways.
Throughout the chaos of the now confusing dimension switches, Evelyn learns how to trust herself and her family. She learns to accept things as they are and how they come at her. I love how creatively driven the movie is: you’ll often see switches through 2D dimensions like marker drawings of the characters, or you’ll see puppet versions, even a universe where they have hotdogs for hands. My favorite is when they are shown as rocks in the middle of nowhere. The visuals of the movie keep you intrigued and mesmerized.
Intertwined into the not so serious and chaotic fight scenes, the story progresses deep, touching on topics such as suicide and generational trauma, important topics that many people are scared of showing in storytelling. I think it’s really great how they pulled everything together, and I can’t say much more without spoiling it, so go see it!
The main takeaway I got from it without any spoilers is that nothing matters and everything matters. It’s a deep concept that I probably can’t explain, but with an open mind I think you can take away much more than that. I’ve never gone to a movie and cried, laughed, been uncomfortable, been angry, been frustrated and felt every other emotion in between those. The movie truly lives up to its name, and I think no one could have executed something so confusing such as the multiverse as well as Kwan and Scheinert did. Along with the existential crises you will have during and after this movie, you’ll be entertained the whole way through. I recommend this movie to everyone, because the topics are so complex, almost anyone can relate to it or learn something from it.