A meditation on guilt wrapped in a ham-fisted metaphor.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Disappointing” title=”Someone tell that cameraman to lay off the coffee.”/]
Right off the bat we’re faced with the inalienable fact that this is very much an indie movie, thanks to unnecessary abrupt camera movements and overwrought direction. The scene with Rhoda reflected in her side-view mirror is the perfect example of the director trying to be too clever for his own good. It robs the scene of the emotional impact of seeing Rhoda’s face without distraction as she is about to cross an important threshold in her life. Likewise, the car crash is cleverly shot, but robbed of most of its emotional impact.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Disappointing” title=”Another Earth appears. Boring life goes on.”/]
Why this movie decides to gloss over the appearance of a second Earth in the sky, yet lingers on long shots of Rhoda rejoining her family life, is a bit beyond me. I guess it’s meant to be clever, but I think something as improbable and life-altering as a mirror planet showing up one day deserves more than background chatter. For crissakes, the characters barely acknowledge it’s there.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Interesting” title=”This man needs a housecleaning more than an apology.”/]
As Rhoda and the man whose life she destroyed begin to interact, we start getting a sense of the emotional core of the film. Unsurprisingly, it has nothing to do with Earth-2, which makes this movie less a SF flick and more of a metaphor for guilt and regret. I’m fine with this, except that Earth-2 has no relevance to the plot at all. It doesn’t guide Rhoda’s decisions, or expose the nature of her guilt. It makes the concept of a second Earth more of a marketing gimmick than a true cinematic texture, and that’s a shame.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Puzzling” title=”The old Indian janitor used eye bleach literally.”/]
The whole Indian janitor who’s been giving Rhoda some quality ethnic insight into her first world problems has apparently turned himself deaf and blind by pouring bleach into his eyes and ears. I have no damn clue what this is supposed to mean.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Awkward” title=”I really don’t think these two should have sex.”/]
Rhoda and John go at it like awkward bunnies. Yeah, I got the part where they were growing closer and even falling in love, but this is a stretch.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Intense” title=”Rhoda finally spills the beans to John.”/]
A good scene, although marred by the too-clever way Rhoda decides to tell her story in third person to John, as it gives the actress much less to work with than if it was a sincere, sputtering admission of guilt. Sadly, John’s reaction is nothing if not predictable. Guess it’s time for Rhoda to become an astronaut.
[do action=”moment” emo=”Infuriating” title=”You were expecting closure? Haha, fuck you.”/]
Aaaand fuck this movie. Just when it’s about to tackle its central metaphor, it cops out by sending John to Earth-2 off-camera. Which raises two awkward questions. One, what does John do when he gets to Earth-2 and find his wife, kid, and himself there? And two, are you telling me Rhoda had an actual transferable ticket to go to Earth-2? Oh, and that second Rhoda showing up at the end? That would have made a fantastic third act, except apparently this is when the director got bored and stopped writing. This sucks.