Brit Marling, William Mapother
John: You’d go?
John: You don’t know what’s out there.
Rhoda: That’s why I would go.
Rhoda (Marling) has just been accepted to MIT and has been out celebrating. On her drive home, the combination of being intoxicated and distracted by the news that a new planet has been discovered nearby in our solar system causes her to slam full-speed into the car carrying John (Mapother), his wife, and their child. The woman and child are killed, John is injured and goes into a state of depression, and Rhoda spends the next 4 years in jail. Upon her release, she goes to apologize to John, loses her nerve, claims she works for a cleaning service, and starts up a friendship with him. Oh, and meanwhile, there’s a duplicate planet Earth getting closer and closer to our Earth…
So it turns out, at the very least, that we’re ALL twins.
And maybe this second Earth explains Deja Vu! Or maybe not…
There’s not a whole lot of explanation, or discussion, or theorizing in Another Earth. It’s a fantastically fun idea, this second Earth concept, but I was left wanting more dialogue about how and why this could be, whether or not the planets should communicate and visit with each other at all, and the psychological, cultural, and spiritual repercussions such a discovery would bring about. (Also, at least a passing mention of whether or not having another planet that close would throw our weather and tides into turmoil would’ve been nice.)
A few of these things are touched upon, but I could have listened to much more of it. When you have an interesting character like Rhoda, the more of her thought process you can get on screen, the better.
What IS there is a girl wondering if, in some other dimension or timeline, her life could have turned out much differently than it did. Not just for her sake, but for the sake of the other family she affected. That’s something most people can relate to. How different would my life be if I had made one simple decision differently…or hadn’t made that one mistake…hadn’t been distracted for one instant.
In this case, Rhoda might just get that chance to know.
Brit Marling is pretty darned good here, as is William Mapother, and they have to carry the film just about on their own. Most of the other characters are secondary at best. The shots of the Earth in the sky are lovely, as is the cinematography in general, but overall, this is a movie that just couldn’t quite match the beauty of its trailer. Bravo to whoever put that one together.
Still, it’s worth a watch, and might get you to thinkin’ about whether or not you would want to meet yourself, and if so, what you would say to yourself. Hopefully it would be something less depressing than what Rhoda comes up with when John asks her that question: “Better luck next time…”
Don’t drink and drive and look at duplicate planet Earths in the night sky all at the same time.
10 – 2 for not going in depth enough with some of the issues that would arise from such a discovery – .4 for a bit of spotty acting from a few of the supporting players – .5 for my attention waning here and there = 7.1