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A film which seeks to explore the relationship between the eyes and the soul, all the while presenting a love story.
Review (with Spoilers)
Characters & Story
Everything begins with Ian (Michael Pitt) and Sofi (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) on one Halloween night. He finds her to be this spiritual model who is sort of out there, but very lovable. She finds him to be this pragmatic scientist, one who wishes to disprove god. Alongside their story is Karen (Brit Marling), Ian’s lab assistant who plays a role in Ian’s long-term relationship with Sofi, and then Kenny (Steven Yeun). The one who provides the equipment so that Ian can possibly fall in love, if not just see, Sofi all over again.
The beauty of I Origins isn’t necessarily the love story, but the idea behind it. For while often people say that “the eyes are the window to the soul” or romanticize the idea that two people falling in love isn’t random, but they are soul mates and fated, you don’t see too many films explore the idea. This one does however and while it probably isn’t technically sound, it does make you wonder a few things.
Speaking specifically about the story, though, I quite loved the dialog between Sofi and Ian and found her arguments for spirituality, if not religion, to be quite interesting. Also, while they aren’t the type of couple who set a precedent for what you think love should be, they are quite cute together. Making the climax almost as traumatic as your throat being slit and surviving. Which perhaps is going a bit far for a description, but certainly I felt very shocked.
There are two issues here for me, the first being the technical parts, in the beginning, about eyes was sort of jarring and confusing, and then there is the ending. With the ending, I feel like you aren’t really given proper closure, nor an answer to the hypothesis Ian was seeking out when it comes to Sofi. Which made me wonder if perhaps writer/ director Mark Cahill wanted to leave us pondering, ran out of ideas, or if maybe he wanted to continue this in a sequel, or just couldn’t get the money to do so. Either way, I really wanted to know what was the fate of Salomina (Kashish).
Overall: TV Viewing
Quite honestly this is on the border of Worth Seeing and TV Viewing, but the lack of a strong and enviable love affair between Ian and Sofi, much less an ending which didn’t provide too much in the way of direction, that is what tipped this to being TV Viewing. However, even with that said, I’m glad I got to see this movie after missing it in theaters.
Things To Note
Archie Punjabi also plays a decent role in the movie, but I wouldn’t say is a big part of the storyline. Though, to be honest, neither is Steven Yeun all things considered.
- Ian: I believe in proof. There is no proof that there is some magical spirit that is invisible, living above us, right on top of us.
- Sofi: How many senses do worms have?
- Ian: They have two: smell and touch. Why?
- Sofi: So, they live without any ability to see, or even know about light, right?The notion of light to them is… unimaginable. […] But we humans, we know light exists all around them, right on top of them. They cannot sense it but, with a little mutation, they do, right?
- Ian: Correct
- Sofi: So, Dr. Eye, perhaps some humans, rare humans, have mutated another sense, a spirit sense, and can perceive a world that is right on top of us, everywhere. Just like the light on […] worms.
“Recognition makes me extremely nauseous.”
— I Origins