#REVIEW: “I ORIGINS”
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
The existence of God is questionable, and so two camps wage war to find fact. The devout claim the divine truth is in plain sight, whereas their opposition sees it all as make-believe. It’s a war of the minds more than a battle for blood… and ultimately fodder for fiction.
The primary role of Science Fiction is not to give space to saucers; it is instead the grounds to form ideas. Ideas like: the cost of success, (Ender’s Game); our role in the Biosphere, (Planet of the Apes); and the exploration of intelligence, (The Matrix Trilogy). All possibilities explored, just like those within Mike Cahill’s I Origins.
Cahill is no stranger to Science-Fiction; his last Film was about Another Earth, and this time around he’s explored Humanity’s Origins on this one. Michael Pitt plays Ian, our guide through the film’s philosophical landscape. He’s a molecular biologist who’s anointed himself the task of destroying contemporary Theists’ most treasured theory: that the eye is evidence of an Architect.
Early on in his quest he is intoxicated by a foreign flower named Sofi, (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey). She leads him with love through the gardens of eastern mysticism, and he feigns interest. Until on the eve of their wedding she is taken from him, and he is left to war against God with increased fervor. And alas amidst his triumph he discovers something unexpected…
So as not to spoil this cinematic adventure, the Plot details will be left at that. The Performances however can be discussed further. Pitt is a leading talent and his Director agrees. Bergès-Frisbey is an indelible presence and a mythic beauty. And Brit Marling is a charming support with chops. Together they traverse a sea of wonder filled waves that are as picturesque as they are moving.
The Film is no doubt a provocative one. It is impossible to make a holy omelet without cracking a few eggheads. For its conclusions will be controversial. Its journey however should be universally stimulating. Cahill has an excellent Film on his hands here. One he wrote, directed, and should be proud of. Because though a lot of people are willing to fight over ideas, few are willing to play with them. Open your mind to I Origins and see what beauty it has to offer.
Fox Searchlight release I ORIGINS in Toronto on Friday, July 24, 2014, additional cities to follow.