Everything Everywhere All at Once
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Michelle Yeoh is our reluctant guide through a multiverse of parallel existences in the Daniels’ wild, wacky and fabulously inventive cult hit.
Evelyn Wang (Yeoh) is finding life tough. Her daughter (Stephanie Hsu), father (James Hong) and husband (Ke Huy Quan) fail to appreciate everything she does for them. She is harassed by a tax officer (Jamie Lee Curtis). And life generally seems to be getting on top of her. But things are about to spiral out of control when she learns to access her other selves, who live in parallel existences. The revelation not only introduces spice and adventure into Evelyn’s life, but more than a smidgen of danger as she realises each Evelyn carries a burden – albeit some more fantastic than others.
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s film is a madcap, gonzo take on the sort of dramas we’ve come to expect from Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry and Spike Jonze, such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Synecdoche, New York. But the Daniels take this meta-universe to the max, spiralling Evelyn’s lives into a wild series of encounters and adventures, yet manage to keep everything within the realm of the film’s own, somewhat crazy, logic. Most surprisingly of all is how the filmmakers channel all this mayhem into the film’s thematic concerns; at its heart, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a film about the responsibilities of parenting and it features a payoff that is emotionally satisfying in a way that very few films this inventive successfully achieve.