Bagels and the Multiverse

Review Over A24 ‘Everything, Everywhere, All at Once’ Film


The film “Everything, Everywhere All at Once,” directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, was released on March 11 at Austin’s very own South by Southwest. The movie follows Evelyn Wang, a mother and wife, struggling with taxes as she continues to run her own laundromat sitting just below her family’s small apartment. Through beautiful lighting, costuming and storytelling, I was left speechless and on the edge of my seat for the entirety of this perfectly put together movie.

Isa Morgan, Reporter

First, it’s just a few shapes on the screen, then come the lines and finally the finishing touches of the “A24” title appear on the screen. Once I saw the iconic intro I knew the movie following would be good, but for this film, the word “good” doesn’t even come close to describing the masterpiece of “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once.

The film, directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert and released on March 11 at Austin’s very own South by Southwest, follows Evelyn Wang, a mother and wife struggling with taxes as she continues to run her own laundromat sitting just below her family’s small apartment. The film deals with struggles such as cultural barriers, acceptance in your own family and learning to be enough for the people around you, all while keeping up a psychedelic trip feel. It was the perfect balance of chaos and meaning that made me never want the movie to end.

I was left speechless as the credits rolled, having to take a second to collect my thoughts before I could leave my theater seat. Going into the movie, I was expecting yet another film about multiverses that I would not understand, but boy, was I wrong. 

If I’m going to be honest, I was really expecting this article to be all about the visuals of the movie instead of the actual storyline or plot, but once I had experienced all it had to offer, there are so many things to be said. This was the kind of film that you could watch over and over again and still find deeper meanings to each of the scenes, and yet you would still be able to understand it each time you saw it. One of my favorite hidden, but not so hidden, features were the googly eyes, seeing them all over the posters and trailers made me really curious about them. During the movie they’re featured as a way for Evelyn’s husband, Waymond Wang, to brighten Evelyn’s stern mood but are later figured out to have a much deeper meaning that was really heartwarming.

That’s what I really loved about this movie. I felt like I could understand more than the tip of the iceberg, which crushed my fear that there would be so many metaphors I would need some of my AP English skills to understand what I just watched. There were references to the start of the movie which deepened the story even more; there were main focuses on each of the specific characters instead of just our main character and there were so many good understandable metaphors about Evelyn’s struggle with growing as a person that didn’t leave me searching for answers.

Throughout the movie, I was greeted with different universes and timelines of how Evelyn’s life could have been. She later on learns that she can take her special talents from these different universes and use them in her current state to help her fight off enemies and perform special tasks. I loved how they represented the different realities throughout the movie with frame changes and different color pallets. 

My personal favorite reality was a scene where Evelyn was just a rock…yup that’s it, just a rock. All the audience got for dialogue was subtitles and background noises of wind. It was a good laugh and a nice break from the chaos. Although the movie was indeed very chaotic and sometimes hard to follow, it all made sense in the end, and was a satisfying experience when it all came together. 

The film was full of imagery and symbolism that was complex but still understandable for someone who wants to watch a movie instead of rhetorically analyzing every, single, thing. The film also managed to perfectly cover all emotional bases: I found myself laughing, jaw-dropping, fidgeting, crying, and when I say crying I don’t mean single tears, I’m talking about soggy popcorn and drenched napkins, crying. The film covered topics such as struggles with sexuality, race and family, and they did a perfect job of connecting with their audience. 

By starting out with a normal story and then putting these beloved, kind-hearted characters through traumatic experiences beyond the imaginable, I found myself relating to these characters, which I think really helped my experience and understanding of the movie itself. Not to mention the familiar faces seen throughout the film like Ke Huy Quan, playing Waymond Wang, who is known for his role as Data in The Goonies, Jamie Lee Curtis playing Ms. Deirdre and Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn. 

As I said before, I was originally planning to just write all about the visuals and actual settings of the movie because of my lack of faith in the plot, but I could go on and on about how stunning it was. From lighting to costumes the production did not miss at all with any of it. I fell in love with the main antagonist, Jobu Tupaki, played by Stephanie Hsu, and her many outfit changes that expressed just how unhinged and eccentric she was. 

Throughout the film, I saw many different versions of Evelyn in different universes, and I thought the costumes for each of them were perfect. Along with the perfected costumes, the lighting was unreal. There were constant color changes and amazing color patterns for every time the different universes were involved. All of these specific elements made the movie come together in perfect harmony.

The only complaints I have about the movie are that even though it is rated R and requires a certain age to see it, maybe it is not the best thing to see with parents. The gore of the fight scenes and ”phallic objects” that probably should not be mentioned in a school newspaper, often shown throughout the film are enough to create an uncomfortable ride home from the theater. Other than that, I absolutely loved the film and would happily go back and watch it again to experience the rush of the chaoticness.

The production leaving questions unanswered for the audience to figure out, but not leaving them confused, the costumes and lighting being beautiful and acting just as phenomenal, leads me to give “Everything, Everywhere All at Once” a confident 10 out of 10 jaws dropped.