By Louise Logan
Dir: Mike Cahill
Starring: Brit Marling, William Mapother
In cinemas 9th December
‘If you could meet yourself, what would you say?’ is just one of many questions Another Earth poses. Rhonda (Brit Marling) is a bright student with a passion for astrophysics, and John (William Mapother) is a renowned music professor. The lives of the two tragically collide just as another planet is discovered not far from ours with similar characteristics. As the mysterious blue planet gets closer, it’s revealed that it’s actually a mirror Earth- dubbed ‘Earth 2’- with every person’s identical ‘them’ on it. The story orbits the relationship of the two as Earth 2 gets closer, and a guilt-ridden Rhonda starts to think this parallel Earth could be the fresh start she’s been searching for.
The film’s release couldn’t have came at a more convenient time; it ironically coincides with the discovery of a ‘habitable’ Earth-like planet 600 light-years away by NASA’s Kepler programme, whilst a string of films this year, such as Melancholia and Perfect Sense have questioned the certainty of humanity. It seems as though the subject of ‘what’s out there’ is on everybody’s minds. Rather than offering an answer, Another Earth reinforces how baffling the universe is.
It’s an interesting story that takes a leap into the unknown and explores the idea of alien life without the use of flying saucers or brain-munching Martians, choosing instead to focus on the human elements of the story, making it less of a sci-fi and more of a drama. It’s similar to Perfect Sense in this way, as it plays out a huge world event via two isolated characters. Marling and Mapother underplay their roles, making a relatively far-fetched plot believable, and surprisingly moving.d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’).appendChild(s);