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Why Do The Awards  Love Everything Everywhere All At Once, An Epic Nothing



Everything Everywhere All At Once

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Rating: * ½

The  Screen Actors Guild Awards  love  this  film. But what is there  to love in this hot mess?

Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert the  co-directors of this….this….what is  this???!!! The co-directors like to be  known as the  Daniels. It wouldn’t   be wrong to say  the Daniels have come to judgement in this shrieking freak of a film where  multiverses  collide in a vertiginous chaos.

Be warned from  the outset: this is  not a film for the weak at heart. It is a  swirling belching cauldron  of  multiverse mayhem, more sinful than sinned against, it reflects  a team of minds  perched on the edge  of chaos trying hard to not topple over. But for me, this  is  a  work that truly topples  over the  precipice into the abyss of creative chaos.

Michelle  Yeoh who hands-down is  the  best  Chinese actor  in cinema,plays  a  Chinese-American   laundromat  owner with  enough problems  to make Mother India look like  a socialite from The  Fabulous  Lives  Of  Bollywood  Wives  , and yes, that’s quite  an imaginative jump. But not one that  this absurdist drama  would be loath to make.

Everything Everywhere  All At Once  operates on the level of  heightened dementia.  It starts of fairly well, though symptoms of a gathering sickness are   discernible early on in the way camera flops itself into the middle of  conversations creating disembodied images of immigrants who are  either eating something that doesn’t agree with them or  smoking something that agrees too well with them.

To begin with Michelle Yeoh’s  Evelyn Quan Wang  has to deal with  a senile father,estranged  husband and a  lesbian  daughter and her  partner.This is  the  scriptwriters’ cue to  unleash a mutinous  macrocosmic  multi-dimensional  universe  where anything is  possible, and that includes the strangest of mindbending  images like   everyone’s fingers  turning  into  hotdogs  and  Evelyn’s daughter Joy(Stephanie Hsu)  walloping her  mother with jumbo-sized  plastic penises.

Wait.  Don’t go away. We are  only beginning  to warm to the  various multiverses which Evelyn and her loved ones occupy  . Most of the  avatars are  deeply hostile and  violent .They leave us the audience in a state of heightened  agitation. For those  who constantly  look for logic coherence and consistency in  their  cinematic experience  , Everything Everywhere All At Once is hell’s kitchen dishing out one indigestible  yucky gooey  dish after  another.

In no time at  all  ,the  entire  mayhem of  a misbegotten  multiverse unravels  in front of our bewildered disbelieving eyes. This is  a film that may stimulate and sicken  your senses with its pagan parody  of  an anarchic universe, replete  with women who use their pets cats as  a bola to  beat the  grit  out of their enemies.

This a universe where chaos  reigns  supreme and  the characters  behave  as if they are in  a nightmare built on the premise of  feverish  absurdity.Michelle  Yeoh seems  to enjoy the deep-dive into  a swirling  pool of dementia.  But my favourite performance comes  from the irrepressible  Jamie Lee Curtis  as a relentless  IRS  official. Watch out for an actress of Indian origin Sunita Mani who features in a  romantic film that Evelyn  loves  to watch.

This is  an experience unlike  anything we’ve seen before. But then, so  was  Covid.

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