In this High Five review, we discuss “Everything Everywhere All At Once”, the new film by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
The release of Everything Everywhere All At Once is perfect timing, coming just around when people are fixated on the concept of multiverses thanks to recent superhero movies and series that delves into multiple realities.
This sophomore feature by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, collectively known as the “Daniels”, plays around the premise of a laundromat owner who discovers that she can see and “jump” through her alternate self. The genesis of the movie came even before big blockbusters started exploring similar ideas. At this point, multiverses have naturally become the new narrative trend akin to time travel movies—everyone just wanted to go and do their takes without monopolizing it.
The simplicities of life
Even with a complex device to drive the film, Everything Everywhere All At Once opts to tell a very simple story about the chase for a simpler life.
Our lead character Evelyn Wang (played by Michelle Yeoh) sees her everyday routine of taking care of her laundromat business as aimless, and sees breaking her commitment from her family as an escape.
In this realization, we see how looking into another version of Evelyn’s self tells her that the best life she could have is the one she has in front of her—and how external forces distracted us on the beauty of accepting what we can afford. It’s a powerful message that could be the reason why the film continues to create new successes over time.
Michelle Yeoh’s role of a lifetime
Michelle Yeoh perfectly embodies the many selves of Evelyn, regardless if it’s the one who became a successful movie star or a moody partner with hotdog fingers. It’s fascinating to see people realize how they’ve underestimated her talent throughout her decades-long career, and now creating new hunger to see her in more projects.
Yeoh has always been the actress who can do more than just action. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” showed us how her years of work is just a preamble of what she can really offer. It’s a role of a lifetime that only a rare few actually receives.
Yeoh was very much complemented by a powerful ensemble cast, who equally committed to the zaniness of the movie.
Ke Huy Quan of Indiana Jones fame impresses as Waymond Wang, delivering one of the most thoughtful and humble performances of the year.
The same goes to Stephanie Hsu as Joy Wang, James Hong as Gong Gong, and Jamie Lee Curtis as Deirdre Beaubeirdre, who have been instrumental in balancing the film’s eccentricities with tender moments.
The multiverse of madness
The real brilliance of “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is its capability to orchestrate multi-layered storytelling with such limited production budget and time. This is a true testament on the Daniels’ knack for resourcefulness and talent.
The film literally goes into the multiverse of madness more masterfully than other films with larger threats. It is also worth mentioning how the film’s few spectacular action sequences that feels clean and exciting.
“Everything Everywhere All At Once” is worth looking alone for its craftsmanship, but the film rewards with a lot more thanks to great storytelling.
It will take a while before we get to see another movie that is similarly delicious and soulful in terms of the whole viewing experience, unless the audiences continue to chant for more original flavors in the cinema.
Is this a new classic of our time? It might depend on who you’ll ask, but it’s undeniable that people will remember and talk about this movie for a very long time.
“Everything Everywhere All At Once” is now showing in cinemas from TBA Studios.