Everything Everywhere All at Once
It’s always exciting when writer/directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert – collectively known as Daniels – team up together to bring out a new brain-busting film for our viewing pleasure. Everything Everywhere All at Once is the latest product sliding, or should I say fracturing and shattering, its way into cinemas, and the sci-fi adventure film stars Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Quan Wang, a first-generation Chinese-American woman who is simply living her worst life as a disgruntled owner of a laundromat who is behind on her taxes, has an ever-weakening relationship with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) and distanced emotional connection with her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu).
Just as the viewer is getting comfortable in their seat, what starts as a snappy, laugh-sprinkled story of a midlife American family struggling to make ends meet, is suddenly lurched, quite literally, into another dimension by the kings of indie film. The next 24 hours will change Evelyn’s life forever as an uncountable number of parallel universes and possibilities explode before her eyes. However, time is something she does not have, firstly because she is “very, very busy”, but also because with these new horizons come new dangers, including the evil Jobu Tupaki, who wishes for her to believe that literally nothing matters in life, meaning purpose is pointless.
The film builds curiosity superbly, presenting itself in parts and only introducing the sci-fi elements gradually in the opening act. Ultimately, everything makes a lot of sense as the movie progresses, but it is conscious not to leave a single viewer behind as it marches off into the multiverse, something mainly achieved through the dialogue and the performances of the leading cast. Yeoh is a fantastic lead, with Evelyn so bad at everything that she is the perfect saviour the universes need because it makes her so versatile.
It is, however, Quan who expertly does a lot of the heavy carrying early on. When you have such a complex, albeit really clever, plot element, you need a charismatic tailor to thread it all together. Lucky for us, the man who played Short Round in Indiana Jones and came out of retirement only a year ago, is our man. Oh, and who could forget Jamie Lee Curtis and Hsu who are hilarious, devious and evil in their own wonderful ways and clearly had an absolute ball.
The way this movie handles the multiverse is remarkably ingenious, inventing a mechanism where your consciousness can go into another body, in another universe, that is yourself if you made different choices, and basically provides you with God-like powers. The magic is in the editing which is simply off the scale, so please can cinematographer Larkin Seiple and film editor Paul Rogers please take a bow wherever they are, because collectively they have created a triumph in cinema and film editing.
The film also remains grounded and down to earth, with the heart of the movie staying in the relationships between Evelyn and her close family. The term is bandied around so frequently these days, but as it goes, Everything Everywhere All at Once is a modern masterpiece, with ridiculousness, drama, action and love all sealed inside the same glistening package of success.
Everything Everywhere All at Once is released nationwide on 13th May 2022.
Watch the trailer for Everything Everywhere All at Once here: