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I spoke with the directors of Everything Everywhere at Once Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan and they explained to me the meaning of the film

Everything Everywhere All At Once is one of the movies more interesting that cinema has presented to us in recent years. Not just because of the fact that broke box office records for the study A24, but because its mixture of science fiction, drama, action and martial arts She has connected so much with audiences around the world that she may be a strong contender for this year’s Oscars.

Apparently this tape tells the story of Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh), a woman overwhelmed by her family crises, as her husband Waymond (Kequan) seeks a divorce, his daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) wants to come out to his conservative grandfather and to top it off, his mediocre laundry is about to be audited by a tax agent (Jamie Lee Curtis).

However, Evelyn’s life takes a 180 degree turn when she discovers not only that there is the multiverse, but she is possibly the only capable person to face a strange entity that threatens to destroy reality as we know it. The tape could fall into many common places, but by mixing themes of buddhist philosophy, our modern anxiety with social media and a family drama, found a very difficult balance to achieve and managed to offer a film that has multiple readings, in a way that connects with the audience in a different way and becomes quite an experience.

For this reason, I had the opportunity to talk with the directors Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan and they told me the multiple meanings of the film!

A Story About Worldliness

When we have heard the word “multiverse”, we immediately think of Multiverse of Madness, What If…? or Loki, the great Marvel projects that have already introduced us to the idea that there can be infinitely different worlds in the universe, where we are very different versions of what we think.

Thanks to Marvel, we understand the multiverse as a crazy adventure where we can be presented with the most extreme versions of our favorite characters. That is why people may be surprised that, in Everything Everywhere At Once, Evelyn is the only hope of the multiverse and she is trapped because she cannot fill out her invoices properly and present them to the Treasury.

One of the most interesting things about the film is the incredible ability to present great action scenes in very few locations, since most of the story takes place between the tax office and Evelyn’s house/business. Is it was a conscious decision of the filmmakers, as they sought explore the mundanity of life”

“We wanted to explore the mundanity of life and taxes make a lot of sense. I think paying them is one of the most universally hated experiences. Everyone hates it, it’s miserable, we thought it was a fun challenge for our leading lady.”

Daniel Kwan- Out of Focus

When we meet Evelyn, she is overwhelmed by all her family pressures and feels like there is no way out, and the director explained to us that “We felt that a table full of receipts and tax papers was a beautiful metaphor for feeling like you’re living the worst experience, the worst version of yourself.”

In fact, the Evelyn we know could be said to be the worst version of her in the multiverse. While other versions are great stars or skilled cooks, our Evelyn has failed in everything she has set out to do and continually thinks of what would have happened if she hadn’t run off with Waymond in the first place. Therefore, placing the story in a place as boring as hacienda is, They also allowed them to explore the details of life that give it meaning to the most mundane experiences of the world:

“By the end, when Waymond, Ke’s character talks about how much he would have loved doing taxes with her in another universe, it becomes a beautiful and truly profound gesture of love. Because she says “I want to be with you in the worst. I want to be with you doing the most miserable and mundane parts of life.”

Daniel Kwan- Out of Focus

everything everywhere

Break Personal Barriers

Evelyn is overwhelmed because things never turn out the way she expects and the people around her don’t behave the way she wants them to. She judges her daughter harshly for being gay (although she won’t admit it), she also judges her husband for being “too weak”. In this regard, the filmmakers told me that they believe that “Humans control everything by labeling it” and the film sought to explore how those labels, prejudices and social boundaries can be very destructive, since they keep us separated from each other and do not let us connect with people and the world.

Therefore, when she manages to open her mind and understand the possibilities of the multiverse, the problems and everything that made her feel separated from the people she loves are transformed into opportunities to do good and being able to connect with the people you love.

This idea, as told Daniel Kuwan, came from his own experiences once he became disillusioned with religion, since you said it was a time when “everything was noise, nothing made sense” and that desolation was part of what they wanted to explore in the film:

“This movie tries to explore what that feels like. As it loses all its foundations and drifts. Now see how scary life can be without those labels that define our lives.

But that ends up being a gift, because she can suddenly redefine the world around her and draw new boxes in a way that can open a direct connection with her daughter. Those labels didn’t matter because she was being blocked from people she loved.”

Daniel Kwan- Out of Focus

Everything Everywhere

A Movie About Social Media

Daniel Kwan has said that he was looking to explore the anxiety caused by social networks, since the constant flow of information that demands our attention can cause us to have a divided mind, and in a certain way we live different multiverses thanks to it. The Daniels thought there really wasn’t a movie that explored that, so they decided to include it in Everything Everywhere at Once.

“One of the things that we are concerned about lately is the attention economy and how its incentives are pushing us into chaos, to be even more immersed in the noise and how scary that is.

I think we all, as individuals and also as a society, have to find a way to exist in this constant state of information overload, otherwise we’re going to implode. […] we are not built for so much information. Our animal brain is not for that. So we have to start having serious conversations about how to change things, because it’s not sustainable.”

Daniel Scheinert- Out of Focus

That’s why, Daniel Scheinert says he hopes people feel that “it is okay to feel overwhelmed and you are not alone, we should feel less shame for feeling that way” as part of core message of Everything Everywhere.

In the end, Everything Everywhere at Once is a film that advocates love and empathy in a world that constantly pushes us towards chaos and uncertainty, knowing that there is probably nothing beyond. And maybe that’s why this tape turned out to be so revolutionary.

Todo en Todos Donde a la Vez arrives on June 23 in movie theaters in Mexico

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Peggy McColl

Mentor l NY Times Bestselling Author. Hi, I'm Peggy McColl, and I'm here to deliver a positive message to you!