This one’s a Must-see!

Rhoda (left) with John.

Profoundly deep; thought-provking

Something extrordinary and big has happened. On a regular day, astronomers have discovered what at first seems to be a bright, blue star. Upon further examination, they notice that it is in fact a planet. When the planet gets close, they discover that it’s not just any planet – it’s Earth.

Another Earth is a recently released indie-flick, created by Mike Cahill and Brit Marling, and it has been mentioned amongst my friends and aquiantences multiple times, where it’s been described as a singularly thought-provoking and profoundly deep picture that will leave the viewer thinking the night away after seeing it. Now it’s been exposed to me and their description sounds just about right.

A woman named Rhoda (played by Marling) is traumatized after an unfamiliar star on the night sky disctracted her whilst she was driving home, causing her to crash into another car, killing the family inside, except the father, John Burroughs (William Mapother). She ends up in prison for this but is released 4 years later, where somehow a clone of Earth has appeared right next to it. Scientists are excited and confused, attempting to make contact with the people on the other Earth, which is when they learn that no only does the clone have the same continents and cities but also the very same people, who seem to have the same memories but simultaneously have not made the same mistakes.

Rhoda is a cleaner and after John recovers from his coma, she goes to clean his home. The two begin to bond and like each other as more news emerge about the clone Earth. It appears as if some  people will get a chance to travel to the other Earth by winning a contest and thus get to talk with their clones; their mirror selves; the possibly better version of themselves. Are we ready for that? Any of us? It certainly makes one ponder.

Rhoda beholds her own world.

I thought that I could review Another Earth without starting to compare it to Melancholia, but it’s less possible than I thought. What do they have? A newly discovered planet getting close to Earth? Check. A depressed lead character? Check. A woman lying naked outside, gazing upon the new planet? Check. A close-up of a computer screen as a character Googles something related to the planet? Yes, even that.

I enjoyed both movies, but I am wishing that elements from both could at some point have been combined into one disaster movie. Melancholia had more science (though its science is incredibly flawed) involving how a planet getting too close would affect our climate and also how it would orbit around us, but there seemed to be no interest, from scientists or otherwise, in finding out how the planet works or if there’s life on it. That’s what Another Earth is about. If these elements ever appear in the same “planet close to Earth”-movie, I would probably give it a 5/5, which I was close to giving Melancholia. Same thing with Another Earth.

Another Earth is, just as I was told before seeing it, a truly deep and thought-provoking picture. It is always delightful to see an independent movie bring surprisingly enjoyable things in terms of acting (Brit Marling reminded me in a way of a Kate Winslet), writing and music. The most interesting scene is when Dr. Joan Tallis sends radio transmissions to the other Earth, getting a response from none other than Joan Tallis. The two talk for a bit and ask each other questions about the life and childhood of Tallis, which they both answer correctly.

Astronomy was always my favourite subject in school. It fascinated and puzzled me to no end. We had astronomy classes much too rarely. Another Earth does not only explore one of the mysteries that could be hiding out in the cosmos, but also the mystery of how a human being would react when learning that a version of them, that is most likely superior, exists only a few 100 000 kilometers away. What would happen if the two met? What would they say? What would they learn from each other?

I know that few have seen Another Earth but I’m certain that those who have seen it love it and those who will see it will love it. My recommendation is high and my thumb is up.

4.5/5 whatever.