Yesterday I watched Everything Everywhere All At Once; and it was a rather ‘MAD’ experience! Directed by the Daniels (Daniel Kwan, and Daniel Scheinert), and starring Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and Ke Huy Quan; Everything Everywhere All at Once is an absurdist comedy drama about a Chinese-American immigrant, who whilst trying to juggle family life, her laundromat, and an audit by the IRS; is made to connect with the multiverse (a series of parallel universes of which she is apparently the central point) to prevent someone very close, yet very distant from her; from destroying everything! Everything Everywhere All At Once is a very mad film, as it begins by detailing the chaotic life of the film’s central character, which then gets even more chaotic in a Matrix sort of way; by revealing she is the possible hero in something universe threatening. As a result we are lead through a rabbit warren of potential universes, which are all sort of connected, via decisions she didn’t make. The film is very detailed, and fills every possible second, and every possible frame; with as much stuff as possible to keep you glued to the screen, and makes sure you are entertained throughout…in theory. And while it is packed with a lot of detail, this can get a bit lethargic later on, as you really struggle to understand the full picture. And whilst this could be considered as unreliable narrative, you do sort of need as much clarity as possible both early on, and especially later on, as it’s about time to wrap it all up, and finally all make sense; which it sort of does. But, in leading up to that, it can feel like a real struggle. And as a result it really begins to drag too, in a very Dune sort of way, feeling like an ending is finally here, only for it to keep continuing, and continuing! But in the meantime, it still packs in room for some well choreographed fight scenes, and some really funny skits too. However, it does something else as well. As it’s ending finally moves into view, it creates several moments of pure serenity. Moments where all the madness both on screen, and off screen just stops, and there is peace, pure quiet peace, where everything just seems nice. Yes, it’s a mad film, but to create a feeling of purest serenity, you need to experience raw chaos!
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