Another Earth Review

Another Earth

Another Earth Review

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

I wasn’t sure I was going to write a review of Another Earth. It’s an odd kind of movie, and not one that I would say has a wide geek appeal. Yet I’m still left thinking about it, and not just because of the twist ending, which I will talk about in the spoiler section! Add to that, the fact that the writers have a new movie released today, Sound of My Voice (which was screened at Sundance at the same time as Another Earth), it actually does make sense to talk about this indie scifi movie.

The story is based on the very simple premise: what if you had the opportunity to meet yourself? Such an opportunity arises for the characters of Another Earth, when a planet that is the mirror image of Earth is discovered.

It’s actually rather a big story when you think about it. What would happen if we really did discover another Earth with duplicates of ourselves? It’s a fantastical idea that would certainly raise some philosophical questions. Science fiction is littered with stories about duplicate Earth’s- just about any episode of Fringe, for one thing.

Yet at the same time, this is a very personal story for two characters whose worlds literally collide just as scientists discover this other planet. After Rhoda (brilliant portrayed by Brit Marling who also co-wrote the script), a highschool student goes out celebrating her acceptance to MIT a lapse in judgement causes her to run into another car, killing a mother and child, and leaving the driver (William Mapother from Lost) devastated.

Another Earth

The story picks up four years later when Rhoda is released from prison. Yet despite her release, she she is unable to free herself from her mental prison. When she plucks up the courage to approach John, the only surviving victim of the car accident, the two find themselves in a relationship in which they seem to need each other in order to heal. I should point out however, that John has no idea who she is, which makes for some very tense scenes throughout the movie. I couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable. At times I felt badly for her, and at other times it’s clear that what she is doing is so wrong and will not end well.

So you see, Another Earth isn’t science fiction, not in the obvious way. There are lots of lovely nods to science and scifi throughout the movie. It’s clear the writers thought a lot about would happen if something like this were to occur although they lacked the budget to explore on screen the kind of chaos and devastation such an event would create. So they told the best story they could. It’s a very slow story, and I can honestly see why some people would hate it. Then again, speeding up the plot would make it lack credibility.

However, if you’re tired of seeing superhero movies or films where the White House gets blown up, you might want to give Another Earth a try. Personally, I welcome the return to small scifi movies that make you think, and I can’t wait to see what they do with Sound of My Voice.

As for that ending Show ▼