I think Everything Everywhere All At Once is a movie that many people can relate to—especially those of us who are neurodivergent and constantly overwhelmed. Even if you aren’t, a lot of people grapple with existentialism in their day-to-day lives, which is also a huge theme of this movie. How do we fit into the world when on the grand scale of things, we’re just a speck of a speck?
It’s comforting to know that other people are struggling with the same question and that the answer is as simple as finding happiness in the people around you. Of course, there’s a bit more to it than that, so let’s get into the review.
This is not a spoiler-free movie review, so don’t read any further unless you’ve watched the film!
Going into this movie, I didn’t know what to expect. I knew it had something to do with the multiverse and centered around Michelle Yeoh’s character – that was about it. The trailers were all very chaotic and showed a lot of Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh’s character) being pushed around by unseen forces. They did not hint at the movie’s plot, so I was pretty blind when I sat down in the theater.
The beginning of Everything Everywhere All At Once is pretty depressing. It shows us Evelyn’s life, rundown and steadily getting worse as her husband tries to hand her divorce papers. Not to mention her business is in danger. Sprinkle in some mother-daughter tension and the clear father issues Evelyn has, and it’s obvious she’s not in a good place. Both literally and figuratively.
Taking so much time to highlight how badly things are going for Evelyn is a little cringy, but it is also a very important part of the story.
Alpha Waymond kind of puts it best when he says, “you have so many goals you never finished, dreams you never followed. You’re living your worst you.” I think we all feel like that at some point. Like we’re not living up to everything we could be. Like one wrong choice turned into hundreds. All the things you managed to do with yourself amount to nothing.
On top of that, the message “you’re such a failure you have nowhere to go but up!” was a little harsh. Talk about a backhanded compliment. Waymond wasn’t technically wrong here, but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have said it better.
At her lowest point, Evelyn is then exposed to the multiverse and all the twists and turns her life could have taken. Any of which would have led her to a much better life.
The second part of Everything Everywhere All At Once is where we get to really explore the other universes and begin to ponder our place in the world.
Seeing all of the branching universes and all the potential “could have beens” of Evelyn’s life was humbling. It makes you think about all the different places your life could have taken you. How many different decisions were any of us away from working next to our very own raccacoonies?
Seeing all the possibilities makes you feel kind of small, and it’s easy to see how having to experience them at the same time would overwhelm the average person. I don’t think most of us could handle seeing and experiencing Everywhere. I can’t even imagine the overstimulation I would feel from it all.
Part Two gets the viewer to think about not only Evelyn’s life but also their own. It wants you to think about all the possibilities of life. It also wants you to think about existentialism -if you don’t know what that is, check out this handy Crash Course video and your place in the world.
Through all the possibilities and choices that could have been made, the movie brings us back to focus on one thing again – the relationship between Alpha Joy and Evelyn. Their relationship is what begins to answer all the possibilities presented in the multiverse for Evelyn.
All At Once
The third part of Everything Everywhere All At Once is also the shortest, ignoring the “could have beens” shown throughout the other universes for Evelyn. Instead of experiencing the lavish life of a movie star or the successful career of a hibachi chef, she chooses to focus on her universe. The worst one for her.
Evelyn decides her meaning for existing is to love her family and repair her relationships with Waymond and Joy. In choosing to do so, she shows us that our lives have meaning in our relationships. Don’t wait to be happy trying to achieve some far-flung dream. Enjoying the little moments with the people you love makes life worth living.
Not to say you shouldn’t follow your dreams. Just don’t wait to value yourself and those around you trying to achieve them.
4.8 everything bagels out of 5.
This isn’t the perfect movie, but it isn’t trying to be either, which makes it so good. The whole point of Everything Everywhere All At Once is to find comfort in imperfection.
Wanting more Recs?
What other universe in the multiverse would you want to visit most?