Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Amid the Smosh-type jokes, Stephanie Hsu's obnoxious Rico Nasty costumes and trite Euphoria makeup (something that I suppose could be read through Evelyn's eyes as losing her nice Chinese girl to American vulgarity... it makes sense but still very trite and I am sick of gluing pearls on the face) the Vice fakeout joke and the general restlessness is a moment of tender, quiet heartbreak: in the sausage fingers universe, Evelyn leaves Deirdre. Deirdre covers her face with her Alan from Smiling Friends tendrils and begins to weep. The theater sighs, there is a person doing something that is not screaming on the screen.
It is then cruelly bisected by a jump cut to Deirdre sobbing louder, and then the train choo-choos on. There is nothing to breathe in. I saw a review of Memoria that spoke of the violence of cutting and that is exactly what I mean. 

For instance, the sequence near the end where Evelyn, in order to solve the situation with the bagel (the plot evades me hours after seeing it, my mother might think I was sneaking off instead of going to the movies like I told her if she asks me what the plot was), has to care for every character attacking her on a case-by-case basis, borrowing from every Evelyn variant in the parallel universes. This is a sweet scene that dedicates time to the idea of paying attention and caring for people. This is a scene that lasts very little and cares more about its ridiculous solutions than the act of solving per se. A pair of directors less obsessed with "crazy for crazy's sake" might take a little longer to visit these variant Evelyns, might show us where the dog cheering up the guard came from, but no, there is an imagined problem to solve (the frankly stereotypical blind accusation of Gong Gong being a homophobe by virtue of being old and provincial). At the end of the pan that shows us the solution to every attacker's problems, we can't even tell what the last person got - a lapel ribbon, was it? I couldn't tell!!!! Come on!!!! Show us what you're showing us!!!!

The admittedly tender finale feels the way your nose feels like a sore open wound after days of being stuffed. Breathing feels like an investment, like something you have to get into.

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