I have always liked a good film - a film that tells a good story perhaps or a film in which you lose yourself - enchanted by the cinematic artefact that a team of our fellow human beings have lovingly pulled together for us - creating a kind of on-screen magic.
Last night at The Oscars in Hollywood,a film called "Everything Everywhere All at Once" won several of the awards including "Best Picture". Knowing nothing about this film I thought I would give it a whirl this afternoon courtesy of Amazon Prime.
I wanted to be enthralled and to appreciate why it had won so many plaudits. I settled down with a mug of tea and a cold pork sandwich hoping to be transported in the next two hours. However, it wasn't long before boredom began to set in and after an hour I dozed off for ten minutes. That did not make a ha'p'orth of difference and I didn't even bother with a rewind to catch up. The film was still churning along, failing to touch me in the slightest.
In cooking you get dishes called a bouillabaisse and a melange. They are similar in the sense that you throw just about everything into the pot and stir. To me, that is what "Everything Everywhere All at Once" is like - a bouillabaisse of random imagery and sound in which time is elastic. It's all over the place and though you are sometimes at the Chinese laundry or the tax office, mostly you don't know where the hell you are.
In the background to the action, sometimes leaking into everyday reality is a popular construction known as "the multiverse" - "a hypothetical space or realm consisting of a number of universes, of which our own universe is only one". I understand that this concept has been present in various action hero films that I of course avoid watching at all costs.
I did not care a jot about the characters in "Everything Everywhere All at Once". "Best Actress" Michelle Yeoh played Evelyn Quan Wang, a dissatisfied and overwhelmed laundromat owner; and as several other versions of Evelyn in alternate universes. She was central to it all and within the constraints of the project she probably played her part quite well.
It was a kaleidoscope of imagery but what the hell was it all about? It did not seem to relate naturally to the world as I see it. I found it to be superficial, silly and frankly a load of trash complete with plenty of king fu style fighting.. I was relieved when the final credits came up but that was over two hours of my life that I will never get back. Needless to say I would not recommend this film to anybody apart from teenagers who are obsessed with superheroes and enjoy continuous action. Yes- as we say in England - not my cup of tea at all.