Everything Everywhere All at Once

Evelyn Wang, a young Chinese immigrant, embarks on a crazy adventure where she and only she can save the world by exploring parallel universes and connecting to other lives she might have had.
It’s all just too much. Too much to think about, too much to hold on to, too much to fight against. Too many people to talk to, too many restaurants to eat at, and definitely, definitely too many movies to watch.”

This is how directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert begin their letter to the public at the release of Everything Everywhere All at Once, available on the A24 studio website. You may know these two directors from their debut, also made in tandem, Swiss Army Man (from 2016, a surreal comedy in which Daniel Radcliffe plays a dead man).

And yet, it’s hard to understand how Everything… was not also distributed in cinemas in Romania, taking into account the fulminant popularity it had, the fact that it is among the highest-grossing titles of 2022, the fact that on imdb it is ranked 162, and on Letterboxd it is the tenth favorite of all time. And the most successful film brand A24.
This film is perhaps the most lavish cinematic experience of 2022, an overwhelmingly maximalist production, a multiverse of styles and genres blended into one: drama, comedy, parody, fantasy/sci-fi, thriller, action (kung-fu ), animation and possibly others omitted. And it’s a maximalism that excites. Because Evelyn, the protagonist, is not a superheroine, but a simple woman, an emigrant of Chinese origin on the threshold of the third age, who has problems with her family, with the tax office and with herself. Her husband is about to file for a divorce, her teenage daughter bothers her because she’s a lesbian and aloof, her father is killing her, etc.

They may seem like perfectly natural and manageable problems, but for Evelyn it’s just too much. Because every decision he takes, that he took or that he didn’t take, hangs in the pile, presses it, doesn’t let it exist. And the film invites us into the dizzying adventure of her parallel lives.
Everything Everywhere All at Once captures the zeitgeist as The Matrix did twenty years ago. As Dan and Daniel well point out in the letter, we all feel pressured by information overload and, consequently, decision overload. It’s just that, unlike the 90s-00s, now we feel on our skin how our decisions are algorithmically monetized, so the pressure of choices and at the same time the pressure of possibilities have become all the more overwhelming today. We feel that the consciousness of possibilities, that “what if”, be it idealistic or nihilistic, swarms in each of us more and more vertiginously. And the odyssey of the Daniels expresses it sharply and thickly.

Although the script swings between multiple universes, making some of the most impressive and original transitions in recent cinema history, it is never an effect for effect’s sake, but an endless ramification of the inner world of the characters. Writing the script, according to the directors, “was a silly prayer to a cold and indifferent universe.” Act after act, one universe after another, all the narrative entanglements are of nanometric precision, crystallizing a story that opens all the pores of the cinematic language, achieving an impressively coherent chaos, just as Evelyn lets herself be overwhelmed by the sum of her possibilities – impressively coherent too.
The film was made with a budget of 25 million euros – on average, ten times less than any other blockbuster that proposes such a film adventure. A team of just nine people made the entire visual effects palette, and when you watch the film, the effects look anything but the work of just nine people. And the kung-fu fight sequences are the most original and entertaining since The Matrix. Otherwise, from a technical point of view, everything is impeccably done, from the image and visual leitmotifs, to the scenography and costumes, to the sound, music and, last but not least, the performances of the actors; Michelle Yeoh in particular shows a real tour de force.

As the Daniels conclude in their letter, “We hope that many of you will find yourself in the characters. We hope you laugh, cry, throw your hands in the air and enjoy the merry-go-round in a room full of strangers. We hope it gives you the beginnings of a vocabulary to better understand all this too much and how to exist in it. But most of all, we hope that after you see it, even if you don’t think we’ve reached our goal of including everything, you’ll at least feel included in this huge, messy movie like a group hug.”

Server 1


Server 2


Server 3