Everything, Everywhere All At Once (2022): blu-ray film review.

The Blu-ray release of “Everything, Everywhere, All At Once” is quite peculiar, as most versions I found were in languages other than English. Ironically, the film’s title didn’t match the release. I eventually found one claiming to be in English, but the opening language options were French and Dutch.

However, once the film started and I checked the inner menu language options, I found my native language—English. The correct box cover indicates the right version to get. Interestingly, the opening lines are in Chinese but briefly switch to English and back again. In other words, they use the same technique I employ in some of my stories when characters speak a foreign language. You’ll have to check for yourself if there are subtitles; I found French and Dutch ones, but not English.

The film initially follows the life of Joy Wang (played by Stephanie Hsu) as she observes her mother, Evelyn Wang (played by Michelle Yeoh), running her coin laundry business. I rely on IMDb to keep track of the names, or I’d be lost. The characters’ names are occasionally mentioned to help establish their identities.

In an elevator, Evelyn’s husband, Waymond Wang (played by Ke Huy Quan), warns her about making the right choices and following the instructions he provides, as he won’t remember later. Watching on DVD or Blu-ray is beneficial since you can pause to read the instructions. They are joined by her father, Gong Gong (played by James Hong), at the audit office where Deirdre Beaubeirdre (played by Jamie Lee Curtis) reviews the long list of jobs she has assigned. Following the instructions, Evelyn discovers she’s in an alternate universe, and from there, things start to diverge. Wayland Wang, her husband in this reality, explains that she shifts universes based on her decisions. He also leaves her, stating she isn’t his Evelyn.

From this point on, this film is one of the most surreal experiences I’ve had with a sci-fi movie, surpassing even “2001” and “Solaris.” What’s even more extraordinary is that only eight people created the special effects. When you consider the large teams behind other films’ effects, it makes you wonder how many directors will think they were over-staffed until they see the extensive list of other production staff involved.

I would love to see the storyboards for this film, not to mention a soundtrack from Son Lux, but I haven’t found any information on that. The film has deservedly won seven Oscars, and I still wonder how it can be shown on TV with commercial breaks without disrupting its flow. You need to watch it in its entirety, then sit in a quiet room to contemplate and try to make sense of what you’ve seen, although its core message seems to be about family love and reunification.

There’s one aspect (only one?!) that doesn’t make complete sense: Is it only the family from one reality, or all of them, that can transfer between realities?

Make sure to watch it, take a break for a few weeks, and then watch it again.

Be kind.

GF Willmetts

April 2023

(pub: Lionsgate/The Searchers, 2022. 1 blu-ray disk 135 minute film. Price: varies a lot but I pulled my copy for about £12.00 (UK). ASIN: B09XWL2PZY)

cast: Michelle Yeoh, Key Hun Quan, Stephanie Hsu, Jamie Lee Curtis and James Hong

check out website: www.lionsgate.com

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