Director: Mike Cahill
Starring: Brit Marling, William Mapother. USA. 1h 32m
A ponderous piece of philosophical science fiction that features an emotive pair of damaged characters and a golden opportunity leads to a Pandora’s box of horrorful delights that remain just beyond human touch..
In a shock opening, a horrendous car crash starts the slow decline of both lead characters but their personal sorrows become eclipsed when a second planet earth comes into sight in the night sky where everyone’s doubles live. Under the shadow of this outstanding astronomical breakthrough there remains a tough pill to swallow.
taking a slower drive at other sci fi classics such as Tarkovski’s Solaris and strangely the adorable Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (aka Doppelganger) with it’s thunderbird action scenes, this lo fi chapter is more cerebral and really pulls at the heartstrings, leaving a lot of fans with some profound feelings of connection as they witness a very unusual love story.
Rhoda (Marling), a New England teen, kills the wife and child of a prominent composer. After her jail sentence she tries to make amends and reaches out to John Burroughs (Mapother) and eventually begins working as his cleaner and tries to comfort the grieving widower. Their relationship is bitter and sweet, but when the replica planet arrives, like a third person in the relationship it sparks a sign of redemption and new hope. Rhoda is intrigued to win a once in a lifetime new start on the planet but also John believes that the duplicate planet might be home to a duplicate wife and child who weren’t killed in the crash that happened on this planet.
If you met yourself, what would you say?
The movie moves as slowly as the new planet but with the mixed emotions and difficult conversations about mortality, forgiveness and hope abound each scene it’s not something that deserves to be rushed. Cahill has done an excellent job with pacing and this tops many lofi scifi lists, along with two other films starring Brit Marling, The Sound of My Voice (2011) and I Origins (2014)s with the latter being another Cahill movie also and the three make a sublime movie night.
Related: The Sound of My Voice (2011), Upstream Color (2013), I Origins (2014)
Lists: Lo fi Sci Fi
Spotlight: Mike Cahill, Brit Marling,