I recently sat down and watched “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, which was written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (otherwise known as the Daniels). I hadn’t had anyone tell me “You have got to see this!” or anything, but I had heard about the nominations it had received and how fabulous Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu performances had been.
I didn’t know quite what to expect. I know I am not a sci-fi fan… fight scenes aren’t my cup of tea, and I don’t typically enjoy intense gore.
Yes, it sounds like I am putting myself in a box…
What I knew about the movie before I watched it was that it was about a middle age Chinese immigrant, a laundromat and something about back taxes.
What I absolutely didn’t expect was the beauty of how “real” Evelyn’s character (played by Michelle Yeoh) was. It resonated with societal norms and what we juggle in life on a daily basis. Evelyn’s thoughts and body language could clarify and almost mimic situational relevance in how we view ourselves for either achieving something or not choosing to go in a direction, therefore “missing” an opportunity. This mismatch of paths we either go down or not go down psychologically affects our minds and our self-worth, which directly correlates with the relationship we have with ourselves and the relationships we have with others. We either feel accomplished or not. We feel we have chosen right or wrong, not really looking at the directions or paths we have chosen as situations we needed to go through to help us get to where we are psychically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
The whirlwind ride the writers and directors take you on is quite a journey. It starts when a “verse jumper” (in the body of Waymond, Evelyn’s husband) from a multiverse tells Evelyn: “Every rejection, every disappointment has led you to this moment.” He insists on revealing that an infinite number of alternate possibilities await Eveyn and declares that: “Although you are living the “worst you”, Evelyn is in fact capable of anything - because you are so bad at everything.
So basically, you can’t get any worse than you are and everything is going wrong, but you have an opportunity here (and oh! haven't we all been there?).
The movie has so many metaphors and analogies; I can’t even begin to explain the complexity of the script.
At another point in the movie, you see Waymond (played by Ke Huy Quan) strategically place googly eyes around the laundromat and throughout the business. It annoys Everlyn and she thinks it’s silly and childish, but Waymond continues to do this. The googly eyes represent Waymond’s perspective on life. He also believes, like Joy does, that life is big, scary, and often confusing. But, instead of that filling him with dread, it empowers him to be kind. He says if nothing matters, then you might as well be kind. (Article from CBR.COM).
The film continues with so many wonderful moments. You will laugh and probably cry. I know I did.
It wouldn't be right for me not to mention the cringe-worthy IRS tax agent Dierdra (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) who would be every American's worst nightmare if you were to get her as your auditor. Again, just another similarity of how this movie resonates with America today and how an unhappy, power-driven individual can directly and intentionally drive hectic scenarios into your life….but then on a dime change and suddenly you might have something directly in common with this individual that immediately changes both your viewpoints on each other.
The themes that overtake this beautiful film range from relationships between Mothers and Daughters, Husbands and Wives, Coming of Age and Coming Out, Dreams and Disappointments, Otherness and Belonging, Generational Gaps and Overloads, but all with a down to earth representation of what our world is like now. (Article written by Mark Kermode; The Guardian)
If you haven’t seen this movie, or you saw it and want to watch it again, I get it! It’s a beautiful masterpiece that shows how a little bit of kindness can change everything, everywhere and all at once.