Review for ‘Everything, everywhere all of the time.’
A film of opposites in harmony.
Last night a group of members of the S&S and their friends went to see ‘Everything, everywhere all of the time.’, the latest A24 film and the latest film that uses the idea of parallel universes to tell its story. It has been lauded on the festival circuit and film reviewers from all over the spectrum have sung its praises. I’m pleased to say it lived up to the hype.
I had watched quite a few reviews on the film before going to see it and it still was not what I expected. The film does a great job of making sense overall, although you have to be patient to wait to receive more information as the story progresses, at the same time the film itself is difficult to explain. With that in mind I am not really going to try to explain the film in this review. The film is about family, relationships, living, the future and the past told through many lenses including 2 rocks and a world where everyone has hot dogs for fingers. End of explanation. Go. Enjoy.
Sitting watching the film I was impressed with a story that tackled the very large expressed in the very small and the very small expressed through the very large. Relationships and life struggles expressed as saving the multiverse and preventing cosmic catastrophe’s and at the same time preventing this through changing the interaction you have with those closest to you and those you love. Just writing this it seems like an impossible idea. The success of much of this has to go to the actors themselves which were just top notch.
Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn is the core that keeps it all together, both holding the very small emotional centre with her husband, her father, her daughter and her business. At the same time reacting to the unbelievable and absurd with those she knows changing in to other people all around her at the press of some over the top hands free ear pieces. She does this with believable responses which you could imagine you doing yourself and eventually she accepts what is happening and you explore these absurd realities with her.
Ke Huy Quan was the exposition machine. His character had access to all the knowledge we needed to understand what was going and he dealt it out sparingly as and when we needed it. James Hong as Gong Gong who has had a long, illustrious career in Hollywood plays a small but memorable role as the family patriarch, also got one of the biggest laughs out of me. He really made me think of Lo Pan in this. Jamie Lee Curtis was great as the civil servant slash villain (Villain used loosely. Not that time of film.) like character. The best role I’ve seen her in in a long time and she looked like she really enjoyed hamming up her performance as much as I enjoyed watching it.
For me the stand out performance was from Stephanie Hsu as Joy Wang. The word fabulous comes to mind. In so many of the scenes she looked fabulous. Her performance was full of pathos. I could relate to her character in so many ways. I’ve smoked a lot of marijuana in my life and you are often drawn in to some naval gazing on the nature/ futility of reality and Joy’s responses to her insight in to reality rang true from me. I’m not saying she was right, which the film clarifies also but I’ve gone down those paths myself which are quite narrow. I loved every moment of her on screen.
The look of the film was great. There was a clarity to the cinematography, with very little fancy camera work to take you out of what was happening on screen. The set design was detailed and great. The costumes were amazing. This deserves awards for costume. I’ve never said anything about costumes in a film in my life but I just loved the look of people in this film. Again Joys looks were so good.
The film is not perfect and I won’t say that, but the weak elements of the film are forgivable and I don’t want to talk about them here. Overall it was logical and emotional and authentically funny in its absurdity.
I do want to watch this film again sometime because it is complicated and there is much I missed and need to think about again. Finally the film has many references and homages to other films but the film I kept thinking about whilst watching it, especially in its humour was ‘Kung Fu Hustle’. There’s another film to add to your list Laura.