Everything Everywhere All At Once
This was one film which I was really excited for! It was only a while back that I came across a post from Anurag Kashyap praising a film on letterboxd. He had said it was such a crazy concept that it will never be remade or even be replicated in any other industry. And when my favourite director praises a film, I just follow his footsteps. So with that I was really looking forward to the English film Everything Everywhere All At Once. And finally now that it is out, I decided to take the plunge. Is it worth your time and worth the hype, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Everything Everywhere All At Once follows the story of a Chinese immigrant who is the sole hope in saving the world by exploring other universes. This for me is definitely an intriguing concept. The possibility of multiple universes existing or even a step ahead, a version of us being a part of that universe is something which always makes me curious to know more. It was at the start of the month when Marvel had released Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness. While the concept there was in a way similar, the writing just tapped the surface level as opposed to what it could have otherwise. And so I was skeptical on how deep the writing would wish to dig in here. And boy was I surprised and pleasantly so!
The screenplay takes you on a ride of a lifetime, literally. After a quick introduction of the characters and the conflict which they face in the current-verse along with their dynamics, the concept of a multiverse is unassumingly introduced. While it might be baffling at first and it is rather overwhelming, do not go for seeking answers too early on. The writing is layered and it does time and again give you certain answers. But you need to be patient here but equally attentive as the minutest of details would potentially be missed out otherwise!
There are a couple of things which make this writing special. Its ability to traverse you across multiple universes in the most innovative and imaginative manner but at the same time grounding you in reality. This is a human story after all. The mother-daughter bond is bittersweet here but it is showcased in the most elegant and delicate manner. The writing also gets philosophical equating all problems to being resolved with love and affection. The deepest of problems involving people just needs a little dose of love to resolve issues. And what a beautiful message which is showcased here. Certain meta-references are also a welcome addition to the screenplay which ends on such an emotional note. Another angle to the screenplay was that almost everyone we have around does meet us in every other universe but in a different capacity. It just is such an uplifting thing that time and again shows us that we are not alone. This is a masterclass in screenplay writing if ever there was one!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are brilliant, a balance between some dry humour which will put a smile on your face and being philosophical which will make you think. Some of the most profound lines are mentioned here which are such gems if you think about them. The BGM is excellent and perfectly depicts the different moods of the drama. The action set pieces are brilliant and a lot of fun. The cinematography is excellent with a small dose of madness associated with it. The director’s chair is shared by two individuals – Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and their direction is top notch. This would not have been an easy story to tell and you needed a firm grip on the narrative. And both of them need to be applauded for presented a unique story in the most entertaining manner!
The performances are absolutely brilliant. James Hong aa Gong Gong is excellent in a role which required him to be well restrained. Jamie Lee Curtis as Deirdre, Jenny Slate as Dog Mom, Harry Shum Jr. as Chad, Brian Le aa Alpha Jumper and Sunita Mani all have their moments to shine. Stephanie Hsu as Joy pulls off her role with a certain amount of madness but she perfectly balances herself in emotional scenes. Ke Huy Quan as Waymond delivers a heartfelt act which would melt your heart yet he excels in combat sequences too. Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn has such a layered character with so many versions of herself. This was most definitely a complex character to pull off and she does it in style. Such a towering and brilliant act this that if you go on to dissect it, you will keep finding the goods behind layers of madness!
Everything Everywhere All At Once is Innovative, Trippy, Emotional & Brilliant! Perhaps The Best English Film Of 2022 So Far! Highly Highly Highly Recommended!