Being a big fan of ANOTHER EARTH (2011) and the actress Brit Marling, I was excited to see Director Mike Cahill’s follow up I ORIGINS, which made a splash at Sundance this year. I was immediately taken by this film that explores some fascinating themes about science and religion as well as the nature of love.
What starts out as an indie-romance, blossoms into a metaphysical sci-fi mystery that questions the very core of our beliefs.
Molecular biologist Dr. Ian Gray (Michael Pitt) has his belief system put to task when he meets and falls in love with a spunky, free spirit named Sofi (Astrid Bergés-Frisbey) who has her unique way of looking at the world.
Obsessed with the human eye and wanting to prove that by mapping its evolution in animals he can in turn, disprove intelligent design, Ian with the help of his lab partners Karen (Brit Marling) and Kenny (THE WALKING DEAD’s Steven Yuen) makes a fascinating discovery that could change our perception of life altogether.
When tragedy occurs, Ian goes on an expedition that ultimately makes him question the idea of coincidence and faith itself.
Viewed with cynicism, the film could be construed as pretentious, especially due to its somewhat heady dialogue and highbrow ideas about the human soul. But viewed as a lovingly assembled slice of cinematic art, I ORIGINS has a lyrical poetry that I found immensely appealing.
I allowed the film to wash over me and sweep me along on a rich journey. At times I had no idea where it was taking me but was mesmerized by it even as it weaved genres and transformed into the unexpected.
I ORIGINS is a beautiful film packed with ideas that even though clunky at times and a little convenient at others, still manages to come full circle with a satisfying conclusion. I adore films like this and certainly consider it a MUST SEE MOVIE.
FYI: There’s a sly, final twist at the very end of the credits that adds a new level to an already rewarding film.