I, Origins

Reviewed By Greg Ursic
Posted 07/28/14 11:12:38

"If you're searching for an epiphany,keep looking..."
2 stars (Pretty Crappy)

According to science, matter can neither created nor destroyed, so the belief that we continue in another form when we die is true. Religious adherents however presume that our consciousness also continues on and dedicate themselves to achieving the best possible post-life scenario.

Dr. Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), is a molecular biologist trying to treat color blindness in mice and obsessed with taking pictures of people's eyes in his spare time. His research takes a detour when his brilliant new assistant Karen [Britt marling) suggests that rather than simply trying to cure color blindness, they try to create sight in a sightless creature.

Ian carefully compartmentalized life is taken for a spin when he falls for Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), a pretty bohemian who embraces spirituality and all the fuzziness that it entails. When thier burgeoning romance is cut short by a tragic accident, Ian falls nto a deep depression, eventually immersing himself back into his work. On the eve of his most significant scientific discovery, Ian also learns that there may have been substance to Sofi's "silly" ramblings and heads across the globe to find her.

I, Origins offers an interesting premise, alas writer-director Mike Cahill' isn't really quite sure what to do with it, never fully embracing or explaining the grand themes he presents, instead assuming that they will speak for themselves, so they're never 'fully realized. The story is rife with clichés - the cold-hearted scientist, the dizzy New Ager- and is predictable on every level - after watching the first ten minutes you could step into the lobby and write down every major event that will unfold in the next 90 minutes. The performances are equally disappointing .

Michael Pitt conducts himself like an automaton for most of the movie and when he eventually tries to exhibit emotions it feels forced. Britt Marling, who starred in Cahill's previous effort Another Earth, is equally detached, making both characters hard to connect with Bergès-Frisbey shows promise, but her presence is far too brief to have a lasting effect. Kashish, the orphan cast to play an orphan proves to be the movie's bright spot conveying a wealth of genuine emotion; had her character been introduced earlier she may have been able to navigate the story through its many valleys, unfortunately it's a matter of too little too late.

Cahill's efforts to meld science, synchronicity, and spirituality are hamstrung by muddled storytelling, flat acting and predictability.

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