Everything Everywhere All at Once is havoc, absurdity, tension, action, convictions, and comedy in a huge but appropriate amount.
To say that ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once‘ is a mad ride would be an understatement. It is, in essence, everything everywhere all at once. The film uses absurd chaos to create something intellectual, philosophical, and heartwarming. It’s as if the Daniels (the writers) asked themselves, “What’s the weirdest thing we can imagine?” and then went ahead with it.
The film is chaotic right from the start. It is the story of Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), a Chinese American woman, who is desperate for betterment and peace in her messy life. Her inner frustration reflects in all her relationships. She resents her happy-go-lucky husband, Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) for being naive. She dislikes that her daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is lesbian. Adding to the mayhem, Evelyn discovers her various selves in different multiverses and it is her job to stop Jobu Tupaki from destroying it all.
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As the film progresses, we meet so many characters; it’s difficult but fun to keep up. Yeoh plays her role neatly convincing you that she and everything everywhere around her is unlimited chaos. Quan brings the much-needed balance to Evelyn’s disarray. Hsu steals every scene with comfort and confidence. She really said, “What? Like it’s hard!” Her costumes are the cherry on the cake.
Everything Everywhere All at Once brings together multiple genres – science fiction, comedy, and drama but it doesn’t take itself seriously. As science fiction, it barely uses any science but whatever it uses materializes into something solid. Despite being a battle between multiple themes – optimism vs pessimism, philosophy vs practicality, among others it is hilarious with an apt timing of comic relief. Every scene balances grand philosophy, absurd imagination, and the comedy of it all. The dialogues run between being wise and being utterly comical. The effects and editing are its backbone.
It’s the film’s ability to make a beautiful recipe out of varying kinds of ingredients that set it apart. It is havoc, tension, action, convictions, and comedy in a huge but appropriate amount. Just like life, the message that Everything Everywhere All at Once tries to give us is very straightforward, and just like life, the messages and messaging are hilariously messy. The film makes sense because it doesn’t make sense at all. It is truly the multiverse of madness.