‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ plays on the stereotype of a Chinese family where the parents put a lot of pressure on their children and make them feel like they need to be perfect.
Evelyn is an unhappy woman who needs to confront her relationship with her family: first her husband, then her father and finally with her daughter. It reminds us that family is the most important thing. It starts with a perfect image of Evelyn singing karaoke with her husband Waymond and daughter Joy. Unfortunately, with time things get complicated and as in every family, its members start to fall apart. And Evelyn just wants to get back to the good old days when they were all happy.
Evelyn learns that she can jump between multiverses and use the powers of other versions of herself. It’s called Verse Jumping. As the messenger from another universe called Alpha enlightens her: ‘Every rejection, every disappointment, has led you here to this moment. Don’t let anything distract you from it’. He tells her that he has seen other versions of her and that she is different. Special. Because she gave up on all her dreams and is not good at anything. ‘You’re living your worst you’ – he tells her.
He explains that every, even the smallest decision, can compound into significant differences over a lifetime. ‘Every tiny decision creates another branching universe’. And she experiences them all at the same time and sees that nothing makes sense. ‘If nothing matters then all the pain and guilt you feel for making nothing of your life, it goes away’. But thanks to her husband she sees that some things do matter and just by talking honestly to people we can make things right.
By making things right in her universe, Evelyn impacts all other branching universes in her multiverse. She repairs her relationships with people in every reality. Even the most ridiculous ones where she is just a rock and there are no rules. Because there is always something to love. ‘Even in a stupid, stupid universe where we have hot dogs for fingers’. You need to watch the movie to understand that part, I’m afraid.
Evelyn at some point asks: ‘What can be worse than death?’. Well, the answer is: being everything everywhere all at once. Joy cannot take it any longer and she just wants it all to end. She just wants to die. Because death is better than not leaving life in union with our loved ones and enjoying every ethereal moment of it. As Evelyn at some points points out: ‘We are all useless alone. It’s a good thing you are not alone’. Only together we are strong enough to fight the chaos.
As Waymond proclaims we should ‘be kind. Especially when we do not know what’s going on’. We should overcome evil with good and fight fear with love. Evelyn learns from him how and finally realizes she was blessed by meeting him. Together they became one and created Joy.