‘Another Earth’ explores duplicate planets and duplicate lives

By Kary Feick

kfeick@my.madonna.edu

Driving down the road on a dark, quiet night, Rhoda looks out the window while listening to the radio.  A DJ announces that a duplicate planet has been spotted, while a side view mirror shot shows her staring at the sky. Suddenly, she hits a parked car, killing a pregnant woman and a young boy. The deadly crash leaves 17-year-old, MIT-bound Rhoda in prison.


In “Another Earth,” Rhoda becomes so accustomed to the prison lifestyle that her dull life seems meaningless to her. Four years later, Rhoda cannot shake the idea that she killed an innocent man’s family. When she gets out of jail, Rhoda learns more about the duplicate planet and enters an essay contest in order to win a trip to the other Earth.

She meets an elderly blind man, Purdeep, whom she later learns bleached his own eyes. Rhoda learns that Purdeep was “tired of seeing himself.” Rhoda also decides to find John’s home, the man from her teenage car accident.

“Another Earth” explores sci-fi, intimacy, and philosophy in an enjoyable story, especially the symbolism with Purdeep. But the relationship between John and Rhoda was a little too overdone. He is at least 15-20 years older than Rhoda.

“Another Earth” has a shocking ending that sets up a sequel, though it may not be worth it.  The film does not appeal to a large enough audience for a sequel to be worthwhile.

“Another Earth” contained a lot of shaky camera work that sometimes worked and other times caused me to wonder when the operator would hold the camera still. I also found a lot of jump cuts that seemed to take away from the film at some parts, but during other parts the shots worked well for a passage of time.

Throughout the film, the characters talk about being unique, but a newscast reveals that there is life on the duplicate planet. Not just any life, but lives that exist on Earth. The characters begin to believe that if they travel to this “other Earth” they may be reunited with loved one’s they have lost.

Worth 3.5 stars for a strange, intriguing experience.

 

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