The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Another Earth

Another Earth: Haunting Sci-Fi Drama

  • Brit MarlingWilliam Mapother
  • DramaScience Fiction
  • Out now
  • Mike Cahill
reviewed by
Yasmin Shehab
rate it
review it
Another Earth: Haunting Sci-Fi Drama

While driving home from a party one night, Rhoda (Marling) hears on the
radio that another Earth has been found in our solar system and that it is
visible in our sky. While staring out of the window mesmerized by the sight,
she crashes into a car killing a wife and kid while leaving the husband in a

Flash forward to four years later; Rhoda is out of prison, feeling
immensely guilty and doing community service as a janitor in a high school. She
tracks down the husband, John (Mapother), who is now out of the coma and
drinking away his depression. Trying to apologise, Rhoda’s nerves let her down
at the last minute when she tells him that she’s actually there to clean his
house. As a weekly fixture in his house, she tries to make his life a bit
easier to alleviate her guilt and they end up falling for each other. Rhoda
enters a competition to win a seat on the first flight to ‘Earth 2’ when she
hears the theory that it only became visible when it’s synchronicity with ‘Earth
1’ was broken, i.e. there was another Rhoda up there who may never have gotten
into that car crash in the first place.

Clearly made on a micro budget, the film’s biggest accomplishment is its
mood. It cycles through feelings of remorse, melancholy, depression, loss and
hope, all while keeping the fact that we’re nothing but tiny particles in a
vast universe front and centre. The acting, music, sparseness of the dialogue
and the camera’s tendency to focus on minute details really ratchet up the
film’s atmospheric quality so that it stays with you for a while after you’ve
watched it.

The film’s haunting visuals and editing style, while incredibly
simple, are very powerful and the shots of ‘Earth 2’ in the sky are deeply
unsettling. Unfortunately the mood is severely tested when the characters speak,
which thankfully isn’t often. The dialogue is trite and the characters tend to
speak in metaphors and clichés.

Marling in particular does a fantastic job. Her guilt is palpable as is
her naive hope that she could possibly make it up to John. She’s so expressive
without saying a single word. Mapother also does a good job as the grief
stricken, alcoholic John. When they start to bond and he falls for Rhoda
though, his change just seems artificial and insincere.

Another Earth
blends its sci-fi aspects perfectly with the human drama. ‘Earth 2’ and its
alternate universe represent the hope of Earth’s guilty and depressed. Worth
seeing for the mood alone.    

Like This? Try

Magnolia, Melancholia, Source Code

360 Tip

Brit Marling, who portrays the lead character Rhoda, also co-wrote and co-produced the film.

Write your review

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.