Everything Everywhere at the Same Time Uses the Multiverse to Tell a Family Drama | the daily

A few years ago, discussion of multiverses was reserved for physicists and comic book readers. The rest of the people were patronized: “If there is a Batman in the cinema and a different one on television, they will be dizzy.” Until the superheroic narrative exhausted its traditional stories (the origin, the final battle, the death) and began to flirt with parallel dimensions. Which are also very convenient to solve continuity problems or start from scratch with young and cheaper actors.

This year we already had the premiere of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and next year the interdimensional adventures of Flash should arrive, as long as the leading actor (Ezra Miller) stops violating each and every one of the laws of the United States. In the middle, with the luck of having earned a commercial premiere in Uruguay and the difficulty of having a title so long that I still have to google it, comes the beautiful Everything everywhere at the same timedirected by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, the daniels.

Here we will have one (another) brutal fight for control of the multiverse or for its absolute destruction. But wait! It is also a story about breaking cycles of family micro-abuse, as we ask ourselves the age-old question of what is the meaning (and meaning) of life and what is our place in the “grand scheme of things”.

It all starts with a family of Chinese origin that has a laundromat in the United States. Hollywood seems to have embraced the stories of immigrant families, however, it runs the risk of turning them into a stereotype of problematic matriarchies (a short time ago it happened with Netfrom Pixar and there is also some of that in the recently released Ms Marvel), but that’s a discussion for another time. Especially when the film defends itself so well and has the ingredients to be admired for a long time.

The family nucleus is played by familiar faces who make the most of the directors’ script. Michelle Yeoh, who was a Bond girl, was in The tiger and the dragon (Ang Lee, 2000) and in Memories of a Geisha (Rob Marshall, 2005), to name part of her filmography, is Evelyn, the controlling mother. This woman has a failing marriage with Waymond, played by Ke Huy Quan. Maybe her face doesn’t sound familiar when she’s grown up, but she was Harrison Ford’s patiño in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Steven Spielberg, 1984) and a young inventor in the goonies (Richard Donner, 1985). Stephanie Hsu, known for her role in the series The Marvelous Mrs. Maiselis Joy, the daughter of both.

From the bilingual beginning (a characteristic that will be maintained throughout the film) it is clear that the fantastic and delusional elements will be within the framework of a indie, to describe in some way those who, with less than a million dollars, usually make us experience feelings that are worth much more. There is an economic urgency related to the family laundry, which only masks other urgencies between those three people who seem already separated by universes of distance. But anyone who has made last year’s personal income tax contributions in a bad way knows that there are issues that need to be settled before thinking about other things. They told me.

They will arrive at the treasury in the company of the patriarch Gong Gong (James Hong, veteran of a thousand battles) and there they will meet the public employee Deirdre (an anthology Jamie Lee Curtis). Meanwhile, Evelyn will meet a Waymond from a parallel universe, who will possess the body of her innocent husband and prove to have qualities that make him at least more attractive to her. With this great rule identical to that of Doctor Strange, that the jumps occur in the bodies of our alternate versions, the adventure will begin.

If in the recent Marvel movie someone could complain about the limited number of universes that the characters visited, and that in some cases the wink was that the traffic lights were swapped, here it will be impossible to keep track of the number of jumps . It’s true that there are a handful of realities more important than the others, like the one where Evelyn is a movie star… like Michelle Yeoh. But the script leaves room for viewers to really be overwhelmed by the concept of infinity and simultaneously feel insignificant and unique.

It is enough to name the universe in style Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007) but with a raccoon under the chef’s hat, or the one in which people have hot dogs instead of fingers. And to mention that the way to achieve dimensional jumps is to behave in an unpredictable way, which brings a lot of humor to the final product. But there is much more, including the villain who threatens to destroy everything (because, what for?) and the action scenes with some Matrix and plenty of Jackie Chan, making Jamie Lee Curtis a force of nature.

The film continues to beautifully blend the cosmic and the mundane, as each of the main characters learns something about life and themselves. And if you thought that two stones cannot bring someone to the verge of tears (unless they are thrown at their head), they will be surprised. In general, they will be very surprised. My highest possible recommendation goes.

Everything everywhere at the same time. Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. United States, 2022. With Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ke Huy Quan. In various rooms.

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