Another Earth Mike Cahill

Another Earth Mike Cahill
Despite being an ersatz sci-fi variation on The High Cost of Living, delving primarily into themes of guilt, redemption and solace, Mike Cahill's astute and engrossing Sundance hit, Another Earth, injects the metaphysical, posing questions about perception of self and some rumination of the Schrödinger's cat variety. It does so by introducing the concept of a second mirror Earth into the narrative just as ambitious young student Rhoda (Brit Marling, who also co-wrote the film) kills an entire family, save college professor father John (William Mapother), in a drunk driving accident after celebrating her acceptance to MIT. After serving her time, Rhoda takes a janitorial job, deliberating avoiding responsibility and personal betterment, eventually becoming John's cleaning lady in a roundabout way, with him none the wiser. She similarly acknowledges the sacrificial nature of exploration historically, entering a contest to be one of the first to travel to Earth 2, which someone sharply observes most likely perceives itself as Earth 1, commenting on the human ego. As the relationship between John and Rhoda uncomfortably grows, with the impending doom of truth looming, she speculates about the nature of confronting yourself as an external physical entity and how the world might be a better place if we all still thought it was flat. It all boils down to the basic human anxiety of feeling alone in this world, and universe, acknowledging the fragile nature of connection and how we can never truly communicate our intentions, feelings or remorse with mere words, or even actions, on occasion. While flawed in structure – the suicide attempt seems like a dream sequence and scenes occasionally end without closure – this emotionally focused science fiction allegory holds its power in sharp observations about the human experience and a smart, intense performance from newcomer Brit Marling. Despite the obvious budget limitations, Another World manages to convince us of its otherworldly premise through brief, un-showy glances at the second Earth in the sky, reminding us of its presence even when it's not the focus of the scene. Even though no supplements come with the DVD, this film needs to be checked out by anyone that likes a good story about what it's like to be alive and unsure. (Fox)