Another Earth is an interesting independent sci-fi film that I never would have known had both writers (and lead actress) not been guests on my favorite podcast, The Preston and Steve Show.
The film stars Brit Marling and is directed by Mike Cahill, and they both wrote the film. I was already intrigued by the films premise, and fascinated at their “guerrilla tactics” while shooting the film. For instance, in one scene where Brit Marling exits a prison, she actually walked into the facility, posed as an yoga instructor, and walked out while the camera was rolling.
The story starts out with the discovery of a strange new planet that suddenly appears in the sky. While driving intoxicated and preoccupied with this new discovery, Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling) crashes into John Burrough's (William Mapother) car, tragically killing his entire family.
After spending years in jail, Rhoda is released and lives with a mountain of guilt. John, once a successful music composer, is reduced to being a jobless alcoholic. The two eventually cross paths and Rhoda believes she is easing John’s suffering by working as his housekeeper. Since Rhoda was a minor at the time of the accident, John doesn’t know that Rhoda is the one responsible for destroying his life.
During this time the new planet, dubbed Earth 2, is not only an exact replica of Earth, it is Earth, in every way, including a duplicate copy of yourself living on the alien planet. There is a contest to send a shuttle to the new planet. With nothing left to live for, Rhoda applies.
What’s great about the film is that it really makes you think. How you would react to meeting yourself? Would you even bother? This isn't like a twin who is physically built like you, this is you, mind, body and soul. Or what if the other version of yourself is a completely different person and went a totally different direction in life. It reminded me of the movie Sliding Doors.
The ending is left fairly clear to me, however after doing some research on forums, it’s more ambiguous than I originally thought, and I had to do some rethinking. Of course I am not going to spoil anything for you, so you can draw your own conclusions. If you’re looking for a great mind twisting, dark, and romantic thriller, check out Another Earth.
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