CHAOTIC sci-fi adventure is the heart of Everything Everywhere All At Once, a movie as touching as it is thrilling. It follows Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) as she takes on the burden of saving the multiverse. On her journey, she meets, fights and loves the many different versions of those closest to her, showing us that family isn’t just one-dimensional.
We are introduced quickly to the mania of Evelyn’s life: her damaged relationships with daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) and husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan), not to mention the pile of receipts she must get audited. But Evelyn’s balancing act between family and business is only a fraction of the chaos to come.
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who wrote, directed and produced the film, waste no time before throwing us into a host of absurd scenarios.
Warned she may be in grave danger during a trip to declare her taxes, Evelyn flees into another dimension, while tax auditor Deirdre Beaubeirdra (Jamie Lee Curtis) tries in vain to keep her attention. We discover that quirky supervillain Jobu Tupaki has created a sort of “black hole” that threatens the multiverse – and she is hunting Evelyn down.
This film catapults you so quickly between universes that you barely have time to be confused. It flirts with existentialism and Chinese culture in a bizarre Rick and Morty/ The Matrix hybrid.
Kwan uses his experience as the son of immigrants to create a family that feels real. The chaos in Evelyn’s life and mind represents attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which Kwan was diagnosed with as an adult. The film portrays neurodiversity with nuance, showing Evelyn as someone who really is feeling everything, everywhere, all at once.
The cinematography is beautiful, and the music is cleverly used to add humour, tension and sentimentality. Though the film mostly centres on the Wang family and Beaubeirdra, there are so many versions of each character that you never get bored – and the cast have the perfect chance to demonstrate their range.
Everything Everywhere All At Once grounds a cosmic plot about interdimensional travel with its story of a broken family trying their best to love each other. The film is simultaneously poignant and playful – with more fight scenes involving sex toys than you would expect. It is one to watch for anyone who enjoys laughing and crying in equal measure.