Saturday, August 16, 2014
3 Thoughts on I Origins
1. The proof- I saw the trailer for this movie a few months ago and I COULD NOT WAIT to see it. Mike Cahill's second feature starring the devine Brit Marling and one of my favorite actors, Michael Pitt - I was all in. Luckily, by the time I saw this movie in the theater, I forgot what most of it was about. The beginning starts off simple enough - Boy meets Girl, Boy loses Girl, Boy searches high and low and finds Girl. I wasn't all that interested or invested in this particular love story, in fact, I found it a bit odd. I focused more on the scientific ambitions of disproving the existence of God. The only way to actually prove that there is no God, in this story, is to prove the origin of the human eye has evolved and thus our main character develops a fascination for all things relating to the eye - including taking mesmerizing photographs. I couldn't really figure out where the story was going and why this character was fascinated with a girl, who seemed really immature, annoying and definitely not right for him. Then, a sudden shift occurs, and the story takes a swift turn for the better. Suddenly, I remembered the trailer and what the movie was actually about and it all started to fall together beautifully. (p.s - the movie is probably a lot better if you don't watch the trailer).
2. The unexplainable - As much as I have strong feelings about the non-existence of God, I can't deny that there are things we can't explain (yet). The "soul", intuition, and love to name a few. I thought that these things could all be explained by chemical reactions (that we just haven't discovered yet), but the more technology advances, the less this proves true. How would we explain people falling in love online, if they've never physically met - and therefore negate a chemical reaction? In the movie, Ian follows his instinct in order to find this girl that he met once and connected with. It's clear that the universe wants him to find her, but is that God's work? Or is it his own intuition? Their connection doesn't really add up to love, and there is a very revealing statement about his actual feelings for her; so my thought is that he is meant to find her in order to discover this further connection with the eye. The film ends with an "open interpretation", and to me, I think that Ian's initial discovery is correct - he disproved God (the elevator was obviously going to be the trigger, but could this little girl, who has lived on the streets her whole life, just simply be scared of such an odd contraption?). I don't think it has to end there though, Ian did make another discovery - two people with the exact same eyes (and that's not supposed to exist), so maybe, instead of God, he found the existence of a "soul". In this theory, it's found in the eyes and it can be passed to someone else, once one human dies and another is born. It's related to the "21 Grams" theory, that when you die, you lose 21 grams, which may be the soul leaving the body. There's also another theory that the soul is like a 6th sense that we just haven't figured out yet. Anyway, I know I'm jumping around a bit, but it's all very fascinating to think about and I love that this movie is trying to explain the unexplainable in a way that seems very realistic.
3. The critical response - This movie will be in my top 10 list for this year; right now it sits at the top. I will debate, with myself, whether it is better than Under the Skin, until I make my final list - I like this movie better, but Under the Skin is so utterly fascinating (and a better made movie). I am not surprised that critics are not embracing I Origins, as much as I do; simply because people with faith tend to criticize movies that question their faith. The movie is set out to disprove the existence of God, and the main character treats people who "believe" as imbeciles. Of course, if you strongly believe in God, I think with the ambiguous ending, one could argue that our protagonist has doubt in his "proof" and therefore the movie could easily be seen as having pro-God sentiment; it's still the questioning that people don't like. People also don't like movies that ask questions it can't answer. Seriously, read some reviews - most of the "rotten" reviews refer to the fact that the movie asks "big questions" but gives "no answers" - um....did people really expect to get solid proof of the existence/non-existence of God from a movie? If so, then you don't deserve to enjoy this movie. It's an interesting, unexpected story that allows the audience to interpret their own beliefs or non-beliefs. The only criticism that I would agree with, is the way the story unfolds in such a convenient way (but that also can be argued with the whole "destiny" subplot - it all happened the way it was supposed to happen - so that he could be a part of this exceptional discovery). Overall, I walked out of the theater feeling overwhelmed and excited by the story and I haven't stopped thinking about it since (I saw it a month ago). Some of the dialogue sent shivers down my body. I can't wait to watch it again because there is so much substance; I feel that I need a re-watch just to absorb it all and perhaps, collect my thoughts together in a more cohesive way.