Hi everyone, Bryan Here…
Director/writer Mike Cahill instantly became one of my favorite directors with his 2011 film ‘Another Earth‘. That breakout hit film was so original and beautifully made with an excellent performance by the beautiful Brit Marling and an well crafted screenplay, that it easily made it’s way into my Top 10 films of 2011, and is one film that I still watch often three years later. Now we are in 2014 and Cahill has delivered his second movie called ‘I Origins‘, and I’m here to tell you that it’s as every bit of good that you are hoping for.
Cahill has crafted yet another screenplay and story that is very original and has used his unique and beautiful directing style to capture the life of a biologist who studies eyes and is looking or not looking for something bigger than himself. Every frame of the film matters and how Cahill used his camera to capture his characters and locations was truly amazing. It’s not everyday that you go to the movies and see something so beautiful and awesome on screen that you think about it for days on end, but that’s what ‘I Origins‘ did to me.
Cahill’s film, much like ‘Another Earth‘ had very big ideas and very strong undertones, but he told these stories in such a way, that it never seemed pretentious or overly done. And while the both have that indie charm and feel, it still appeals to the mainstream audience, which is a difficult feat for any director to do, but Cahill seems to do this flawlessly.
Michael Pitt plays a biologist named Ian, who studies eyes for a living and is working on finding a gene that could potentially cure blindness. In the first scene, he is at a Halloween party where he meets a girl in a ninja mask named Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), where he can only see her eyes. He notices that they are extremely beautiful and asks to photograph them, which leads to the two of them having sex in the bathroom and Sofi leaving him there with his pants down, literally.
Meanwhile back at the lab, Karen (Brit Marling), a first year medical student, is Ian’s new lab assistant, and is calm, cool, beautiful, and very ambitious on finding a cure by going through literally every species of animal, looking for that one special gene. Ian eventually finds Sofi again and the two hit it off and begin dating. While Ian believes there is no God and that everything has a logical explanation, Sofi believes there is something deeper and more meaningful in people. While the two disagree about Ian’s work, the two are fondly in love.
But a fatal accident occurs during the first part of the film, which hits you harder than you might think, due to Cahill’s excellent storytelling and direction, as we cut seven years later to present day where Ian and Karen are now married and have a very young infant son. Ian now is a famous scientist due to him and Karen finding that special gene and seem to be happy, even though it is clear that Ian is clearly not completely over Sofi, which Karen accepts in an odd way.
Since it is present day now, a scientist has developed and implemented a database of people’s eyes as a recognition and security system, where tons of citizen’s eyes are photographed, charted on a map, and put into a system. Ian and Karen take their son to get some tests done, and after the test yields interesting results, Ian starts to believe that the eyes are more for just seeing what’s in front of you, but rather a link to a connection system to our souls from one person to another person.
He looks up Sofi’s eyes in this database and sees that she checked into an airport over in India a few days ago, which is impossible. But Ian heads to India to look for someone who has the same eyes as Sofi did and to see if they have any similar characteristics or traits that Sofi did. The results will send chills up your spine as Cahill dives into the metaphysical and spiritual world of our souls and a higher power. It just might make you believe in something larger than yourself.
Pitt has been in mainstream films to very indie movies and all the way to television, and he still proves that he is a great leading man who passes as a biologist who loves and is trying to find meaning. Marling, as always is a true gem on the big screen, and Frisbey plays her role with charm and ease. Even in the last part of the film, the young Kashish, who plays a young Indian girl is excellent. The music of the film is perfect too, using songs from Radiohead to set the tone. ‘I Origins‘ is one of the best film of the year and is a must-see. It is a conversation piece and the scene after the credit sequence ends, sets the stage for something much much bigger in the future. Once again, Cahill, Pitt, and Marling have knocked it out of the park with this film.
5 out of 5 Stars
– Bryan Kluger
P.S. CLICK HERE for my interview with actor Michael Pitt and director/writer Mike Cahill. It was a lot of fun.