Review #7: Another Earth

Title: Another Earth
Year: 2011
Rating: PG-13
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction
Director(s): Mike Cahill
Writer(s): Brit Marling, Mike Cahill
Cast: Brit Marling, William Mapother, Matthew-Lee Erlbach


Summary: Rhoda (Marling) is a young woman on a fast-track to success after receiving her acceptance into MIT, where she hopes to study astrophysics, until the night she drunkenly causes a collision that kills a mother and child while putting the father in a coma. Two years later, a strange new planet identical to our own has entered into Earth’s orbit and, as Rhoda leaves prison on parole, she learns that the new planet’s inhabitants are equally identical: somewhere out there, there is another her. As she wonders whether or not the “other her” has the made the same mistakes she has, Rhoda also discovers that the husband of the family she killed, John (Mapother), has been awake from his coma for some time and is living nearby. Initially wishing to apologize, Rhoda seeks him out, only to lose her nerve and lie, pretending that she is a maid and convincing herself that she can indeed grant him a second chance at happiness.

Review: I have, on more than one occasion, wondered what it would be like to have a clone, how it would feel to know that I am not entirely individual even in the slightest of ways, and each time I have felt something close to fear. Humans naturally crave individuality, and the concept of knowing that there is “another you” is an incredibly daunting and bizarre one indeed, especially if you have led a life of mistakes or missed opportunities.

Another Earth takes this challenging concept and, with its beautiful story telling, compelling characters, and striking visuals, forces the audience to ask “what if?” While it may seem slow at first, the story builds at a very natural and convincing pace, allowing the audience to fully understand the grief and guilt that Rhoda must wrestle with every day, knowing that not only has she thrown away her future, but that she has caused such death and misery. This is only worsened by the relationship and love that develops between her and John as she tries to relieve him of his suffering while hiding the truth.

Brit Marling is fantastic in both her writing and debut performance as the conflicted Rhoda, capably expressing the isolation and misery with which her character must contend. Equally, William Mapother is wonderful as John, the successful composer turned mourning alcoholic, and I can truly say that I pray to see these two far more in the future.

From a technical standpoint, the visuals of the movie are stunning, with wonderful color tones, slow scenes, and shots of Earth 2. Equally, the editing is fluid and well executed, and the soundtrack, though often eerie, is quite fitting.

Overall, I found Another Earth to be a movie that is utterly beautiful in its melancholy, portraying a tale of loss and second-guessing in a way that, though depressive, is also inspiring and almost hopeful in its own delicate way.

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About Sprocket Reviews

I'm just a writer and film fanatic trying to pass the time.
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