Everything Everywhere All At Once is a genre-breaking multiverse film layered with deeply emotional messages for its viewers, as one woman (Michelle Yeoh) comes to terms with the life she has chosen and the family that she must re-learn how to love.
Though the film is filled with exciting action sequences, where it really shines is at the end of each character’s emotional journey, when everything that was said up until then finally makes sense. There is no doubt that many of these lines will stick with viewers long after they walk out of the theater.
Jobu: “Every New Discovery Is Just A Reminder—”
Evelyn: “We’re All Small And Stupid.”
Bizzare as it may seem, perhaps one of the most emotional scenes in the entire film is comprised entirely of rocks. When Evelyn and Jobu Tupaki come to one of the many universes where life never formed, they sit as rocks, overlooking a peaceful landscape, and discuss the meaning of existence itself.
At this point, so much has happened to Evelyn that the weight of the multiverse is beginning to weigh down on her, just as it does to Jobu Tupaki with every passing moment. Yet, here, in this peaceful void, she finds tranquility amidst the chaos, remembering just how small she is in an infinite cosmos.
“I Wasn’t Looking For You So I Could Kill You. I Was Just Looking For Someone Who Could See What I See, Feel What I Feel.” — Jobu Tupaki.
Everything Everywhere sees a multiversal villain in Jobu Tupaki, who has lost her mind after experiencing everything in the multiverse all at once. She hunts down variant versions of her mother de ella, all in an attempt to find someone who could share her immense pain de ella.
Until her revelation to Evelyn, Jobu Tupaki seemed like a callous and cruel villain, unwilling that anyone should challenge her power. However, here it is revealed that she is driven by a desire for companionship, suddenly turning this evil villain into a sympathetic woman in pain.
“I Always Learn Something When I Hang Out With The Elderly. Old People Are Very Wise.” — Becky.
Becky Sregor is the girlfriend of Joy, Evelyn Wang’s daughter, who attempts to ingratiate herself into the traditional family in any way she can. When given a chance to finally meet Joy’s grandfather, she comments that she loves older people, and often learns from them.
Though Becky has little screentime in the film, her presence still looms over Evelyn’s story. Her positive attitude toward Gong Gong is something that Evelyn herself must adopt, while also realizing that she herself does not have all the answers, and must learn from those who have been in her position from her before.
“The Only Thing I Do Know Is That We Have To Be Kind. Please, Be Kind. Especially When We Don’t Know What’s Going On.” — Waynemond.
Waymond Wang is often looked down on by his wife Evelyn because of his seemingly weak nature. He is often jovial and kind, even in the face of overwhelming odds. By film’s end, however, Waymond calls for more people to behave this way, even if they are scared of what it might produce.
At no point in the film does the original version of Waymond fully understand the concept of the multiverse–yet he never faults in his resolve to be a kind. For Waymond, kindness isn’t just a choice, it is a responsibility, and it is the only true way to have peace.
something to love
“You Are Not Unlovable. There Is Always Something To Love. Even In A Stupid, Stupid Universe Where We Have Hot Dogs For Fingers, We Get Very Good With Our Feet” — Evelyn.
There are few people who haven’t seen Jamie Lee Curtis appear in other films and series, but never has anyone seen her quite like in Everything Everywhere All At Once. Playing multiple versions of herself throughout the multiverse, Curtis’s core character of her is ultimately always in search of love.
Upon choosing kindness over violence and hate, Evelyn comes to see her opponents not as enemies, but as broken people in need of finding their purpose. She is finally able to give this to Curtis’s character by assuring her that love comes in all different forms, sometimes even with hot dog fingers.
A Vast Multiverse
“The Universe Is So Much Bigger Than You Realize” — Alpha Waymond.
Everything Everywhere prevails in taking the multiverse in a direction that rivals even Marvel. It opens up the floodgates early in the film, as the version of Waymond from the Alpha universe reveals to Evelyn that the reality she knows is only a small fraction of existence as a whole.
Over the course of the film, Evelyn learns the daunting truth of the universe–that it is far bigger than she had ever imagined. Though this is initially overwhelming to her, she eventually comes to terms with the multiverse’s vastness, learning to be content with the “here and now” of her life.
It Leads Here
“Every Rejection, Every Disappointment Has Led You Here To This Moment” — Alpha Waymond.
Michelle Yeoh gets the unique opportunity to play multiple versions of one character in one of her best performances to date. All these versions of Evelyn Wang connect to the one the audience meets at the beginning of the film, who had embarked on so many failed paths throughout her life that she was beginning to feel like a failure.
Evelyn Wang failed at many things, but each of these failures connected her to another universe, where a different version of her succeeded. Upon learning to verse-jump, Evelyn connects with these abandoned parallel variants of herself in order to become a stronger woman overall.
What Really Matters
“Of All The Places I Could Be, I Just Want To Be Here With You.” —Evelyn.
Despite the insane amount of multiversal antics embarked upon in this film, at its core, it is truly a film about family. This is something that Evelyn must learn throughout her journey from her, eventually proclaiming her love for her daughter from her, despite their many differences from her.
It would have been easy for Evelyn to become distracted by the incredible feats done in this journey, including the traversal of the multiverse itself. However, one of her most important takeaways from such events was the revelation of just how much she loved her daughter from her. Despite their somewhat rocky relationship, Evelyn is reminded that Joy is truly the best thing that happened to her in any universe.
How I Fight
“When I Choose To See The Good Side Of Things, I’m Not Being Naive. It Is Strategic And Necessary. It’s How I Learned To Survive Through Everything.” — Waynemond.
Ke Huy Quan, best known for playing Short Round, the child companion of Indiana Jones in The Temple of Doomone of the best prequel films of all time, makes a thrilling return to Hollywood as Waymond Wang, whose kind demeanor is often seen as a weakness until he proves it to be his greatest strength.
Waymond may not be a fighter in the same way that Evelyn is, but his manner of fighting turns out to be far more effective than hers. His primary motivation for him is kindness and optimism, even in the direst circumstances. This is a choice on his part, and, though it is not always an easy decision, it proves to be the answer to many conflicts in life.
“I’m Learning To Fight Like You.” —Evelyn.
Over her long multiversal travels, Evelyn Wang reassesses each of her closest relationships, including with her husband Waymond. She ultimately learns that, though she had once looked down on his kindness from him, she could learn quite a bit from the way Waymond goes through life.
Until then, Evelyn had always treated her husband as someone naive and unassuming, whose kindness was his weakness. However, she learns over the course of her journey to appreciate Waymond’s tactics, finding that kindness is a far more effective battle technique than hostility. She learns to fight like Waymond for a better future.
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