There is no 2022 film that is encapsulated as well in its title as Everything Everywhere All At Once. It’s a multitude of multiverses, a love letter to the sweet everything that matters in the void of nothingness and existentialism. It’s also a nauseating masterwork of editing, shockingly made on Adobe Premiere Pro. It is outrageous and nearly exhausting in plot mechanics, but vulnerable and sweet in theme. The film is solipsism without selfishness, and nihilism that builds onto hope instead of diving into sorrow.
The beating heart in the depths of the everything bagel that collapsed in on itself beats for a love of cinema. The slurry of multiverses that Michelle Yeoh’s close-up is transcended through so dizzyingly includes an array of iconic films; cinematic history builds up the stunning maximalism of the film.
Ratatouille, parodied in one of the film’s alternate universes as “Raccaccoonie,” exists as a comedic representation of the American cultural zeitgeist. The film is beloved from childhood through adulthood, it’s nostalgic and hilarious, and the premise has endless opportunities for spoof.
The injection of Asian martial arts classics into Everything Everywhere’s bloodstream is a product of love for the genre, one that gave miles of representation to young Asian children who got to see themselves as silver screen heroes. Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, and Stephanie Hsu continue this tradition in Everything Everywhere with their plethora of inventive fight scenes, utilizing everything from work trophies, dildos, and their own kung fu skills inherited from another life as weaponry.
The In The Mood for Love inspirations come out with red-hot passion and dramatic longing. They pump blood into the poppyseed-encrusted heart, as the love depicted is unrelenting, tragic, and boundless. Wong Kar-wai’s original tale is rife with slowly growing passion and romance, so enthralling it causes restlessness, and ends with miscommunication and romantic tragedy, followed by a lifelong lust for those years, and that time, back. Waymond (Quan) tells Evelyn (Yeoh) “So, even though you have broken my heart yet again, I wanted to say, in another life, I would have really liked just doing laundry and taxes with you.” And the story is told again, a beautiful love affair that ends in departure and causes a poetic and endless yearning.
These cinematic allusions encompass an attempt at the American dream, but a dream built on fantasy. They depict attempts at business success, at splitting the difference between true romance and deep tragedy, at the slow chugging along that is required of work despite capitalistic burnout and exhaustion. And when the attempt seems to be failure upon failure, exhaustion without end, and the hope and desire dissipates, Everything Everywhere All at Once asserts that there is nothing left but love. The American dream is a fallacy, all that is real is the love we have for each other, the love that we give all of ourselves to, until we, too, collapse into that everything bagel.
The Brattle Theater will be screening the following, showtimes vary.
Friday, 12/23 and 12/25-31: Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022, 130 min)
Friday, 12/23: Ratatouille (2007, 111 min) // Swiss Army Man (2016, 97 min)
Sunday, 12/25-26: The Goonies (1985, 114 min)
Monday, 12/26: In The Mood for Love in 35mm (2000, 99 min)
Tuesday, 12/27: Big Trouble in Little China (1986, 99 min)
Wednesday, 12/28: A Fish Called Wanda in 35mm (1988, 109 min) // Supercop in 35mm (1992, 95 min)
Thursday, 12/29: Holy Motors (2012, 115 min) // Mind Game (2004, 103 min)
Friday, 12/30: Kung Fu Hustle in 35mm (2004, 99 min) // The Heroic Trio (1993, 88 min)
Saturday, 12/31: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, 149 min)