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Another Earth – review


PhotobucketAnother Earth begins with a young girl, Rhoda, who has a promising future ahead of her.  She’s celebrating her acceptance into MIT at a party after her high school graduation.  She has one too many cocktails though, and on her way home she drives her car into another oncoming car, killing a mother and her unborn child, and putting the husband John into a coma.  She’ll be spending four years behind bars for the crime, instead of in one of the finest educational institutions in the country. 

While this occurs, a mysterious planet is spotted outside of the Earth’s orbit.  The planet it seems, is much like ours and is thought to inhabit life.  While Rhoda is in prison more and more is learned of the planet, and an expedition is planned to go to it.  This expedition is a privately funded venture, and those involved are offering a once in a lifetime chance for a civillian to go there with the crew.  All you need to do is write a 500 word essay as to why you believe you deserve to go.  Which is exactly what Rhoda does.

Rhoda can’t cope with what she’s done.  She’s a good person at heart, but made a terrible mistake.  She attempts to reach out to the father of the victims by pretending to be a cleaning service lady, and offers to clean Johns home.  John lives a shell of his former life and agrees to a free trial cleaning.  Soon Rhoda is coming every week to clean, and spend time learning about him.  Rhoda tries to make what happened better somehow, and in someway, and maybe Earth 2 will offer that chance.

Another Earth is what I like to call reality sci-fi.  Melancholia, which is one of the best films of the year is also a film in that genre, and much like this one.  These two films attempt to make an implausible idea plausible, all within the sci-fi realm.  Melancholia dealt with concepts that are out of our control, while Another Earth is about trying to re-gain control, or at least the chance to.

The film could have done a lot more with the sci-fi angle.   There’s a couple obvious issues with the film from a scientific standpoint.  The most glaring is how could a planet the same size as ours just appear out of nowhere, and secondly a planet of our size within orbit would cause serious natural disasters and havoc with regards to gravitational pull and so on.  These are all concepts that are handled very well in Melancholia, but completely ignored here. There are a lot of great theories and principles going on here though which make up for these issues, but we’re never really fulfilled by them.  We just get a taste, and I’m not really sure if that taste is enough.  It definitely gets the wheels turning though, as to greater questions of the universe, and our place in it.  It’s a subdued look into some very frightening concepts that could actually occur.  The film provokes a lot of though, and reminded me a little bit of Duncan Jones Moon ,which was my favorite film of 2010. You’ll be entertained by it, and it will definitely make you think, and sometimes that’s the sign of a film that will grow on you.

Grade:  B+