With 2 wins at the Sundance Film Festival early this year the independent movie ANOTHER EARTH shares a message that allows the viewer to connect with its themes in many angles. The speculation of what it would be for one to encounter one’s self seems to be at the source of the concept for ANOTHER EARTH. Although this concept is not as inventive as the media suggests; if we closely look into movies like THE TRUE-MAN SHOW, IDENTITY or even the TV show ONE TREE HILL it’s quite obvious the themes of denial, acceptance and redemption are discussed. The only difference I see is that the genres are entirely different and that Mike Cahill and his team may have hit the jackpot with the symbolism of Earth 2.
Rhoda (Brit Marling) is selected to MIT and parties like a nun on a low scale nerd party. Couple of drinks and Rhoda clearly has had one too many when she drives right into John Burroughs (William Mapother) sedan killing his wife and son instantaneously. The moment Rhoda was distracted by the news broadcast of the appearance of a blue planet in the sky I for sure predicted that she would crash into someone or something. As predicted she does. Rhoda who serves a sentence of 4 years is released only to end up as a janitor at a local high school. She clearly has issues of getting over the guilt of the wrong she has caused. All she wants is to simply set the record straight. With the hopes of forgiveness and there in seeking redemption she walks up to the door step of John. Instead of acceptance she moves into a mental state of denial the moment she sets eyes on the wreck (John) and masquerades thereon as a girl from a cleaning (Maid in Haven) service and explains to John that they are conducting a free trial. John who is quite gullible given the circumstances accepts her and the free cleaning trial. One look at the state the house and it’s obvious it needed cleaning. Rhoda who approached for a one time meeting only ends up cleaning his house on a weekly basis. When will the right opportunity rise and how John will react when he finds that Rhoda is responsible for his families’ death?
The question I would like to ask you is; if you repent and regret and come clean for the murder of 2 innocent lives, do you deserve forgiveness and redemption? Would you be able to forgive someone who has taken away your loved ones from you?
William Mapother; who is more known as Ethan from LOST is simply amazing. The pace at which he develops his character and the attention to details given by Mike Cahill to his surroundings is very convincing. Mapother indeed looked the man who has nothing to live for and who has no desire nor hope for a better tomorrow. However when the character sees hope in the forms of Brit Marling, his character rises back from the ashes and stands firm with hope. As for co-writer and star of the movie Brit Marling it’s an average performance.
The Elephant in the room; do I ignore it for the sake of cinema?
Co-Writers Marling and Cahill seems to not have considered the logistics of another planet so close to ours. This is the beauty of cinema. Anything is possible and anything will be accepted. For those of you readers who harp on the realism of such an occurrence clearly will not embrace the scripts effort. Its cinema and we need to take a chill pill and let this one go. I mean after all if we can accept that Optimus Prime exists, we surely can allow a planet larger than the moon to be right beside us and not do us any harm. We can? Yes I think we can and we should.
The Bone I need to pick:
The advertising campaign; in one word SKYLINE!
Indie movies should never lose its focus by falsely promoting a simply misleading plot in the trailer. It is only fair that the whole movie is first understood as a sci-fi. I for one never expected this to be the drama it turned out to be. Indie movies are done with those with passion, those who pursue dreams and these movies inspire us more than billion dollar productions like FAST 5 or X MEN: FIRST CLASS. These movies show us that if our heart is in the right place, we can achieve what we desire. I am and I have been strictly against false advertising. It’s the brand name that would suffer in the long run. Some may like it and some may not.
I throw this next question at you. What is harder to forget; the good deeds one does or the bad deeds one does? I am not at liberty to judge this for Another Earth. However I am at liberty to say that I for one will always tag ANOTHER EARTH with a hint of disappointment.
If you’re adamant on watching this beauty, then I advise you, NOT to watch the trailer. If you don’t you will be marveled within the painful world of John and you will be lost in the beauty of seeing the cinematography Earth 2. It looks like a screensaver! This indeed is beautiful story.
Title: Another Earth
Directed by: Mike Cahill
Starring: Brit Marling and William Mapother
Rated: PG 13