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Moments with Mimi: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” highlights Asian actors, tackles issues with the Asian-American experience

Although it’s been a few months since its release, the movie Everything Everywhere All at Once is still as hot as ever with its star-studded cast, eccentric plot and beautiful artistry. The film features Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Quan, a Chinese immigrant who gets thrown into a mission to save the world from a dangerous threat that comes from the multiverse. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it first as spoilers will be discussed.

When I first was getting ads for this movie, I truly had no idea what it was about. The marketing team did a great job of keeping teasers to a minimum to avoid giving away too much of the story and plot. Nothing from the trailers enticed me to want to watch besides the fact that Yeoh was in it, and I loved her in “Crazy Rich Asians.”

However, many of my friends had recently seen it and couldn’t stop thinking or talking about it. They had mentioned the heavy LGBTQ+ and Asian-American identity themes in the story, and they thought it’d be of interest to me. After watching the whole thing, it was all fairly relatable. From the parental struggle that Evelyn faces to accept that her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) is a lesbian to Evelyn having regrets about leaving China and coming to the U.S., certain plot points make viewers analyze their own lives and relationships.

Especially with Evelyn and Joy, there’s a culture and generational difference between them. With Evelyn having grown up in China, she upholds tradition and has the mindset of those that are mainland Chinese. Joy, on the other hand, was born in America and has to bear the weight of figuring out her place as an Asian-American. The two clash over things such as Joy’s sexual orientation, Evelyn’s role as a mother and the growing distance between them both.

Yeoh and Hsu give phenomenal performances that bring high tension to the screen. It’s difficult not to empathize with Yeoh as she clearly struggles to figure out the audit on the family business, navigate a pending divorce, take care of her father and be present for Joy. Hsu conveys her character in a realistic portrayal with Joy questioning the meaning of human existence in the universe and the purpose that one has in it. She’s able to resonate with the audience, particularly younger people, with the concept of what it truly means to be a person in the world.

The movie also wouldn’t be complete without Ke Huy Quan who plays Waymond Wang, Evelyn’s husband. Quan’s character switching between the sweet and dorky Waymond to the tough and skilled fighter from the multiverse flows naturally for the actor. The duality of the characters seems to come easy to Quan, and his portrayal of both is so starkly different that it’s hard to believe that it’s just one person playing the parts.

While the plot wasn’t always the easiest to follow, the visuals and artistry prove that maybe things don’t always need to make sense. Overall, the film was definitely a win for Asian-Americans. To see people that look like us is always a pleasure, but to have stories about experiences that can be relatable is priceless. 

Mimi Calhoun is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Have something to say? Email Mimi at mc300120@ohio.edu or tweet her @mimi_calhoun.

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