Title: Another Earth
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi
Director: Mike Cahill
Music: Fall On Your Sword
Cinematography: Mike Cahill
ANOTHER EARTH is an acclaimed indie output from 2011 which brings us a rising actress Brit Marling and a director on Hollywood’s watch-list, Mike Cahill, his feature debut is a soft Sci-Fi allegory (another earth appears on sight and breaks synchronicity of the parallel worlds) varnished with a mumblecore maneuver which tackles the redemption after an inadvertent car accident.
On the night of the emergence of earth no.2, Rhoda (Marling) was behind the wheel and under the influence, being enraptured by the unfathomable discovery, she ran into another car and instantly killed the wife and son of professor John Burroughs (Mapother). Being a minor at that time, Rhoda was only sentenced in jail for four years, when she was released, she found out John had awaken from a coma, so she approached him as a cleaner, meanwhile she also applied to be a volunteer recruited as the first earthling contingent to embark on another earth. When her entanglement with John went beyond her grip, another earth might purvey another chance both for his loss and her repentance.
Curbed by its meager budget, in certain moments, the movie looks rather substandard in its home video quality, but it doesn’t discourage the crew to get the best out of what they have, the gradually enlarging images of earth no.2 sometimes with the accompany of the moon are so uncanny as to render the context a supernormal mood, as if there are undercurrents are running beneath the surface, a pre-apocalypse restlessness keeps invading us. That’s why it is a marvelous film, it creates something much bigger than its fodder suggests and leaves no loose end, Marling and Cahill wrote a truly innovative script and the ending is bewilderingly unexpected in a way but also intrigues different interpretations of what had happened on that unknown planet, its mirror theory of parallel spaces is not new, but is applied smartly into the plot and does widen our horizons.
Marling is an out-and-out leading lady material, she balks, rues, hesitates, dares to face the consequences of her behavior, she listens, feels, generates an ineffaceable presence with subdued sentiments and forces audiences never lose attention towards her. Mapother (a veteran from TV series LOST), comes strong as a grieve-ridden widower, it is a substantial role for him to show his capacity and he is great not to mention his unique string performance with a saw, such a whimsical bravura to evoke a girl’s libido! By the way, the score manufactured by Fall On Your Sword is absolutely on the nose.
ANOTHER EARTH is covered with a (not so fancy) Sci-fi coat, inside it delves into the deepest nexus between two wounded souls, one is an offender and another is the victim, but once a deception arrives as handy as a prelude, the fence can never be mended, even it is on another earth.
PS: The film and director Cahill are new-entries into my Top 10 list, plus both Marling and Mapother are among Top 5 in their respective acting branch of 2011.