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Everything Everywhere All at Once Review: Just Be A Rock

Source: A24

Make sure to organize and pay your taxes, or else you may be sucked into an everything bagel during your trip to the IRS. Everything Everywhere All At Once, directed by Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, centers around a Chinese immigrant, Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh), who runs a laundromat.

We watch Evelyn mount through the sea of taxes as her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) speaks to her while attempting to take care of her father Gong Gong (James Hong). Joy (Stephanie Hsu), Evelyn’s daughter, tries to talk Evelyn into approving of introducing her girlfriend to Gong Gong which is ultimately shot down due to Evelyn’s fear of Gong Gong’s disapproval. She begins to notice strange events happening around her during a visit to the IRS with Waymond and her father. Evelyn’s bubbly husband abruptly turns serious, tasking her to master “verse jumping” to tap into different universes where she would gain skills from her alternate versions of herself to save the world against Joy’s alter ego, “Jopu Tupaki.”

The creativity of the film was new and refreshing. When you think of a science-fiction movie, you wouldn’t think of a universe where humans have hot dog fingers and play piano with their feet, or a Ratatouille dupe. These ideas are original and innovative, capturing the attention of the viewers. The fights are especially exciting and comedic at the same time, keeping one on their toes while they burst into laughter with the humorous lines. We get to see Michelle Yeoh in action once again, showing her agility and smooth skills.

There were many heart-wrenching, relatable moments throughout the film. Notable symbolism was demonstrated in the family dynamics. The familial relationships’ tendency to circle around validation, filial piety, and fear of disappointment can be seen through Evelyn’s attempt to satisfy her father’s needs. Additionally, the portrayal of a relationship between an Asian immigrant mother and their daughter was executed perfectly; From the struggles to communicate honesty to the sublimations of love through harsh words, their inter-clashing viewpoints on things such as tattoos and sexuality create further tension in their relationship. Each member of the family had issues that they were trying to overcome. These conflicts are resolved as each attempts to understand themselves throughout the adventure. Other relationship disputes end as well as Evelyn comes to terms with her feelings and internal conflicts.

The Beacon randomly surveyed students on their opinions about the movie. Student El. C emphasizes the familial conflict: “The showcase of generational trauma can lead to mental illness. The end of that trauma is shown between parents at the closing of the movie, conveying that one doesn’t have to cut off their family to end that generational trauma.”

EEAAO explores the meaning of life. It emphasizes the beauty of absurdity and optimistic nihilism – the belief that there is no underlying meaning to life from a perspective of hope. Through all the silliness and chaos that Evelyn experiences, she realizes what is important to her and what truly matters in this ‘meaningless’ universe. We get to choose and control our lives and what we deem as purposeful in order to make this meaningless world meaningful. This is a thought-provoking perspective, giving us a new outlook on life; The representation of the Asian immigrant life, finding your purpose and yourself through obstacles, and appreciating what is in front of you were significant messages that ultimately tell us,

Every new discovery is just a reminder… we are all small and stupid.”

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About the Contributor
Jenny Dun
Jenny Dun, Web Editor and Designer
Jenny is a senior in the Academy of Public Service at Forest Hills High School. She was the Events Coordinator and Social Media Manager for the year 2022-2023.  At FHHS, she is the manager for the Girl’s Varsity Handball Team. She enjoys writing reviews, specifically lifestyle for The Beacon. She loves listening to jazz, visiting museums, and cafe hopping.
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