This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Another Earth" in the aftermath of tragedy

I’ve always been fascinated by the stars. Curious about what’s out there. Amazed by the sheer vastness of the universe. Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling), a young woman recently accepted into the MIT’s astrophysics program, is similarly transfixed.

At first glance, “Another Earth,” is about the scientific discovery of another planet just like our own. This planetary discovery is the headline story—announced on the radio and broadcast on TV. It’s all anyone seems to be talking about. This, however, only provides the backdrop to the drama that will soon unfold for Rhoda and the people affected by her partying and recklessness.

For Rhoda, the new planet is a curiosity that distracts her far more than it should. As a result, two human worlds collide. “Another Earth” is not so much about an astronomical discovery as it is about the shattered lives left behind by one person’s ill judgment.

Rhoda, gifted in the sciences, is not unlike John Burroughs (William Mapother), a composer, gifted in the arts. They are both highly intelligent people in their primes and at the cusp of something new. For Rhoda, it’s MIT. For John, it’s a second child. The ensuing accident irrevocably changes their connections to the world, themselves, and their disciplines.

In the aftermath, John becomes a near-recluse in his slovenly-kept home where he drinks too much. He is no longer a successful musician, a composer and a Yale professor. He no longer has a beautiful family with a baby on-the-way. That was his life before. This is his life after.

Meanwhile, Rhoda is released from prison and takes a low-level maintenance job in which she has little contact with people. At work, she’s paid to clean up after others, but all she feels compelled to do is clean up after herself. On the 4th anniversary of the new planet's discovery and thus, the anniversary of the accident, she reaches out to John in an attempt to pay for her sins in some human way. In the end, another Earth, a duplicate existence looming in the night sky, offers the possibility of a new beginning for them both.

How does one apologize for causing such a catastrophic event in someone’s life?

If you were to meet yourself, what would you ask yourself?

“Another Earth” explores more than it explains. It asks big questions, many of which it can’t answer. It contains some over-dramatized moments, but you come away appreciating what it's trying to say. It's about the healing power of music and the scars that life brings us. It's about apologies, resurrections, redemptions, rebirths, and getting to know yourself and your place in the world. In the end, I dare say, “Another Earth,” like a glimpse of heaven, is a very moving and spiritual experience.

Video/ Embedded from Youtube
Written content/ © 2011 by Kliedle

No comments:

Post a Comment