25 of March this spring, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” was released in cinemas worldwide. In its simplest form, it’s an action-comedy film about love, acceptance, and most importantly, on focusing on the things that matter amidst the chaos that we reside in.
To give you a brief summary of the film, Evelyn -our main character is struggling to keep her household intact as she tries her best to run a deadbeat laundromat, all the while trying to cope with her dwindling marital status and broken relationship with her estranged daughter. The movie cleverly utilizes the concept of “multiverses” to push the “chaoticness” of the plot to its limit, then slows down its pacing as we reach the ending. While at this point Evelyn has gained the power to traverse the multiverse, she ultimately decides to ground herself to her home universe and concentrate on what she loves – her family instead.
Though the whole concept of this movie is extremely bizarre, the film in a way, represents our contemporary life. Think about it, everyday we wake up with our phones. We scroll through multiple social media the moment we open our eyes, trying to catch up with whatever we missed out on while we were asleep, skimming through post after post. After that, we are thrust into this wave of action. As university students, we attend classes, look for internship opportunities or work on whatever that is beneficial to our work resume in the future. So much information and work is thrown to our faces every day, we might as well be fractured amongst multiverses.
In no way am I implying that this is a bad thing. This modern world where information could be so easily accessed is undoubtedly a huge step forward for our society. But with this endless flow of information, just like Evelyn, I often feel that my attention is splintered, overwhelmed by things that I see and hear. In the climax of the movie, Evelyn is descended to a state of nihilism whereby she has gained so much knowledge of the universe to the point that everything seems to be meaningless.
In the climax, Evelyn’s daughter Joy delivers this line: “Here, all we get are a few specks of time where any of this actually makes sense.”
However, Evelyn’s response to this was: “Then I will cherish, these few specks of time.”
Even though she now has the power to traverse across multiverses, Evelyn decided that the time she has with her family, her love for her family was something that she wanted to focus on. Something that is worth ignoring the noise buzzing in the back of her mind. Like Evelyn, we should find something to focus on amidst this chaotic madness that we call “life” too.
In the 2013 film “About Time”, the main character’s father told him to relive every single day of his life for a second time by using his time travelling powers. The reason for his father’s advice was that we often rush through our daily lives, losing focus on the small things that matter. Obviously, we don’t have time travelling abilities, but what if we focused on actually living out our everyday lives?
It could be something great, like, trying to reach the goal of winning a Nobel Prize or it could be something as trivial as making coffee after you wake up in the morning. Just like how the focus of a camera lens enhances the quality of the picture that you see on screen, finding focus in our lives blurs out the background noise in our heads. By then, we might just be able to see the world in striking, vivid strokes instead of rushed out, blurry ones.
Evelyn decided that she wanted to focus on loving and to be loved, the main character of “About Time” decided that the small things in life were worth focusing on. What about you? What’s worth blurring out the background noise for, to you?