Written by Hannah Atkins
Jobu Tupaki may not believe in any form of objective truth, but I believe in the truth that the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is objectively an excellent piece of filmmaking.
If you have not seen this movie, there may be a chance you are in a universe where everyone is just a rock. And if that is the case, you need to find your most statistically probable jumping pad so you can return to the proper version of life where you can watch this amazing craftsmanship from the Daniels — co-directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
If you aren’t a rock, or living under one, then you know this film has been extremely successful and for good reason. At this year’s Oscars, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” won seven awards on top of the plethora of other trophies they have gained from previous award ceremonies. This movie has now dethroned “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” as the most-awarded movie of all time. “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is severely hyped, and it is deservingly so. Other than the affirmation it has received from Hollywood critics, it is adored by the masses.
One of the reasons for that is due to the fact the story is absurdly complex while also still being digestible. The focus of the film is on Evelyn Quan Wang (Michelle Yeoh), who is a Chinese immigrant running a laundromat along with her husband, Waymond Wang (Ke Huy Quan). On the day of the Chinese New Year party they are throwing at the laundromat, they also have an important meeting with the IRS because the business is being audited, Waymond is trying to give Evelyn divorce papers, and their daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is trying to get her mother to accept her relationship with her girlfriend. In the midst of her chaotic personal life, Evelyn is stopped by Alpha-Waymond, who came from another dimension to explain to her that there are millions of parallel universes and to give her the mission of stopping the evil Jobu Tupaki from causing destruction all across the multiverse. Oh, and did I mention that Jobu Tupaki is Joy from a different reality? Well, Evelyn has to use her newfound abilities from verse-jumping technology to stop her daughter from unleashing the black hole everything bagel that could destroy the entire multiverse.
The pacing of the movie is very quick and high energy because of all the moving pieces that are occurring “all at once.” Within the mayhem of Evelyn’s adventure, the story explores so many incredibly deep and meaningful messages of life. The movie tackles philosophical ideas ranging from the meaning of life to finding one’s purpose and the overall human existence. There is something that everyone can take away from this film. Underneath the abundance of silliness that is hotdog fingers, Raccacoonie and googly eyes, there is a very emotionally moving motif. What made me really fall in love with “Everything Everywhere All at Once” was the central idea of kindness. We are small, stupid humans in a very big universe. Life is mundane. Doing laundry and taxes is not what most people want to spend their time doing. So while it may seem like nothing in life matters, we have the power to choose to make it matter. You can find meaning and purpose in the people in your life. Being present in every moment and choosing to love those around is what “Everything Everywhere All at Once” is trying to teach its viewers.
The film is a technical symphony of stunning visuals that are brought to life by a very talented cast. The action is exhilarating, the comedy is ridiculous and the writing is honest. The Daniels are true lovers of cinema, and it is evident in their meticulously crafted masterpiece. There is so much more I can unpack from this movie that I could talk about it for hours. This movie left me feeling inspired and with more of a lust for life.
If you have not seen this movie, I highly recommend that you do. If you are going to take anything away from this movie review, let it be this beautiful reminder from Waymond Wang: “The only thing I do know is that we have to be kind. Please, be kind. Especially when we don’t know what’s going on.”