“Everything Everywhere All At Once” is everything a good movie should be
In a time when superhero movies top the blockbuster charts and cinema of other genres play it safe to reach revenue goals, rarely do we see movies trying new things and breaking the mould without concocting a mess.
However, directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert have yet again impressed with their newest curveball in the industry in the form of Everything Everywhere All At Once. The film is a crazy amalgamation of family drama, multiversal fiction and breathtaking action all presented in a balanced and sophisticated package.
The movie centres around Evelyn Quan, a middle-aged Chinese immigrant living with her easy-going husband Waymond, her ageing father Gong Gong, and her Gen-Z daughter Joy, who struggles to balance her family life and her laundromat business. Evelyn is not leading the best of lives as she often cannot gain the approval of her father and fails to relate and connect to her daughter. Her relationship with her rather meek husband is also diluting because of work. While being audited by the IRS, she is suddenly confronted by an individual from another universe, who claims that only she is capable of stopping a catastrophic entity about to destroy all of existence.
Thus begins Evelyn's bizarre and outlandish quest on a multiversal scale, which changes her entire perspective on life.
Starting off with a very mundane setup of a crumbling family, the movie takes a 180 and goes full bonkers with its plot. The twists may feel obvious but the progression remains very much unpredictable with quirky scenarios and transitions. Outlandish and ridiculous at times, the movie always manages to keep viewers on their toes, whiplashing them on this wild ride.
While certain rules of the universe may seem confusing, the tone is offset through eccentric yet very well choreographed hand-to-hand combat and lighthearted comedy. With this mix of sci-fi and martial arts, the movie boasts its creativity in presenting imaginative and visually stunning scenarios. Some of the said scenarios may seem absurd, but they do not break the continuity as almost every aspect of the movie is metaphorical.
The crown jewel of the movie would be its characters and the exceptional acting by the cast. The characters are exhibited as larger than life caricatures of ordinary people living and are written with proper depth. Michelle Yeoh absolutely sells her performance as a layered and interesting protagonist whom the audience can empathise with. Ke Huy Quan also executes his polar contrasting acts seamlessly. With an awe-inspiring script, the cast put on their A-game showing how much fun they had on the project.
Not so subtly hinting at existentialism, missed possibilities and regret, the movie boldly spreads its message that if there is any meaning to life at all, it's what you bring to it, not what it brings to you. The message might sound idealistic but the beauty of the movie is that one does not need to agree with it to enjoy the film.
Merging the realistic side of our mundane life with hyper unrealistic prospects in a fun and appreciable approach. Everything Everywhere All At Once is one of the best movies in its genre and sets a grand standard for movies that should be promoted in the film industry.