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Gristmill: The Weird Get Going

Tue, 05/10/2022 - 18:47
A24 Films

The movie of the year? Decade, more like. That would be “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” which I’m compelled to press on my fellow moviegoers primarily because the last time I laughed till crying in a theater, till weak and sucking air, I was a dumbass teen.

There’s action, too, of the “senses-shattering” variety, as the old huckster Stan Lee used to say, martial arts-style, slo-mo, fast-mo, you name it, crunching, skilled, sloppy, somehow making near-deadly use of a fanny pack, or, more intimately, certain polymer-molded items fresh from your friendly neighborhood sex shop.

This isn’t a review. I’m not up to the task. Besides, on the subject of spoilers, recent experience has driven home how any movie (the brutal dreamwalk of “The Northman,” for one) can have its entertainment value goosed by simple ignorance going in.

But note: Though the idea of jumping between alternate universes may be a touch out there, “Everything Everywhere” is stone profound, particularly for us daydreamers and what-if ponderers. If every path you didn’t take in life, but almost did, exists within reach if you could just get your head right, is that a comfort or a torment?

Feel like you’ve wasted painfully finite time in indecision? Years down the drain in dead-end jobs? Failed to give it enough of a go out on the West Coast? Well, you also didn’t do those things. Those other, maybe better or at least more focused versions of you exist. Right over there on that other plane of existence, so you can rest easy. You’re not there, you’re here, and it’s now, try to enjoy it.

Of course, the other way to obliterate regret is to have children. Your existence is thus immediately justified. You may even find yourself believing in an afterlife, a notion just a click away from the multiverse. That way, when you’re dead and buried, you and the kids can see each other again.

And again. And again.

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