Everything Everywhere All At Once: Movie Review

Leanna Ward

Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022, dir. Daniel Sheinert and Daniel Kwan) is one of the most creative and mind-bending films of the decade so far. There seems to be a plot twist every 15 minutes of the runtime, keeping you guessing and saying, “Wait, what?” While being action-packed and extravagant, it is also a tender and emotional story that explores the intricacies and complicated beauty of family dynamics and love in the center of something as complex as the multiverse.

The story follows the Wang Family who own and operate a laundromat somewhere in America, with the actual location seemingly unrevealed. The central figure is Evelyn Wang, (played by Michelle Yeoh), the mother of the Wang family. Evelyn lives a simple life with her family until the truth is revealed, the life she lives is just one version of herself, and there are hundreds of other versions of her in other universes.

In Everything Everywhere All at Once, every person exists in hundreds of universes within the multiverse. A new universe is created whenever a person makes a decision that changes the trajectory of their life. Essentially, the more decisions one makes about their life, the more unled lives they leave behind.

Everything Everywhere All at Once is a film that explores topics of time, the multiverse, the meaning of existence, family, and love, with a mix of martial arts in there too. While exploring these topics on their own, the film heavily examines the interactions between these things and how they impact our lives on the great scale of the multiverse.

The film asks the question of what does existence truly mean?

Everything Everywhere All at Once places the concept of existence in the context of the multiverse, as well as what existence looks like in your day-to-day life with the mundane activities of laundry and taxes. How can you appreciate the life you live to the fullest?

The film teaches that the most important choice you can make about your life is choosing to live the life you are leading right now and to enjoy it and not to linger on the possibilities of what would have happened if you had made a different decision on a day 5 or 10 years ago.

While encompassing a great number of topics and concepts, the story is ultimately about family, love, and what that looks like in all universes, even ones where people have hot dogs for hands, (you’ll have to watch to understand that one.)

A special thanks to the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville for their cooperation and partnership with the Pace Chronicle. Their cooperation gives student journalists at the Chronicle the ability to write about current films at the theater with no costs.