“Everything Everywhere All At Once”: A masterful story about mental health

There’s no simple way to sum up the Oscar favorite Everything Everywhere Simultaneously.

It begins with the premise that a Chinese-American immigrant named Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) must enter the multiverse to stop an alternate version of her daughter, Joy (Stephanie Hsu), from annihilating their world. Evelyn’s husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan) is along for the ride.

The film is two hours of mayhem punctuated by absurdist humor and non-stop action sequences, followed by a series of emotional revelations about Evelyn, Joey, Waymond and the human condition. Without much warning, EEAO it becomes an illustration of how someone — Joy — can bring back the edge of one’s existence. Suddenly, the viewer comes face-to-face with a version of their own emotional pain as the film’s fantastical scenes give way to something much more relatable: an unexpected but masterful story about mental health.

There is Joy’s depression, a strong current beneath her casual facade. It is the endless heartbreak that Evelyn feels after her father rejects her. The grueling demands of running a small business as an immigrant have overwhelmed Evelyn’s life — and her ability to admire everyday beauty. Although Waymond may be innately kind, he is not immune to the tormenting loneliness of feeling that the rift in his marriage cannot be repaired. In the Alphaverse, Joy’s alter ego Jobu wonders if there is a way to end all the pain. the nihilism that afflicts her is simply too much for her to bear.


Where to watch Everything Everywhere All At Once

Instead of saying the words despair and suicide, Jobu creates an “Everything Bagel”, which is literally a bagel with every experience and emotion. When considered together, the totality of human experience renders life meaningless. The void in the center of this bun is Jobu’s answer to suffering.

“The bagel is where we finally find peace,” Jobu tells Evelyn toward the film’s climax. In Evelyn’s universe, a parallel conversation with her daughter involves Joy confessing, “I’m tired. I don’t want to hurt anymore.”

Lorissa Carin, a 22-year-old Filipino-American at San Francisco State University, sat in awe as she watched YYYY, which he did more than once. Carin, who has experienced depression and suicidal thoughts and whose mother is an immigrant from the Philippines, saw striking figures from her life and struggles in the film. In fact, there are almost too many such moments to count.

In Joy and Evelyn’s strained relationship, Carin recognized her own longing to connect with her mother in ways made difficult by the constraints of language, culture, and generational differences.

Although Jobu is first positioned as the film’s Big Bad because her nihilism threatens human existence, Evelyn realizes that she should be embraced, not destroyed. Karin found it moving as someone who worried that her suicidal feelings were “monstrous”.

When Jobu and Evelyn transform into rocks and climb to the edge of a cliff, in a universe where humanity does not exist, Carin recognizes the silence and non-judgmental connection she craves in times of sadness, uncertainty and depression.

In an Asian American telehealth group therapy that Carin attended, she and the other members talked at length about the scene in which Jobu drifts into the void of Everything Bagel, but Evelyn reaches out to stop her decay. They each imagined whose hand might be on their shoulder in a moment of crisis.

“It was very therapeutic to visualize this scene in my life, because it depicts suicide, nihilism, but it also depicts connection and a desire to connect,” says Carin, who is writing her senior thesis on suicide prevention among Filipinos. American youth. in the wake of the pandemic.

Filmmaking duo Daniels declined to speak to Mashable about the film’s portrayal of depression and suicidal ideation. EEAO, but the film undeniably makes its values ​​on mental health clear. As Evelyn struggles to save Jobu, and by extension Joy, she recognizes how vital an authentic, loving relationship is to her daughter’s mental health—and to her own well-being.

At first, Evelyn wants a sharp analysis. Evelyn confidently tells her father, who is visiting China, that Joy has a girlfriend, perhaps thinking that finally revealing the truth will convince Joy that her mother sees her pain and deserves it. But Joy refuses an easy reconciliation, forcing Evelyn to confront the complexities of their relationship. Yes, Evelyn may be frustrated by her daughter’s tattoo and the fact that she never calls, and yes, sometimes life feels meaningless or meaningless, but there is a more important truth.

“I still want to be there with you,” Evelyn says. “I will always, always want to be here with you.”

After a few hits, Joy falls into a hug with her mother. In the alternate universe where Evelyn tries to save Jobu from the pretzel vortex, Jobu’s hand emerges from the darkness and Evelyn grabs it to pull her out of the void.

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Brett Wean, director of script and entertainment at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, says the film contains important insights between action and absurdity.

While it would be a mistake to interpret the film prescriptively, Wean says the overall message reflects what mental health professionals know to be true: Life can be burdensome and overwhelming, and kindness and genuine connection can be healing. balm for emotional pain and isolation.

“It’s the story that life is messy and our relationships with other people are what make us whole and give us balance, and ultimately that makes things okay, and that’s where the real meaning of our lives comes from,” Wean says. .

Wean says approaching a loved one for a caring, direct conversation about mental health or suicide(Opens in a new tab) they may feel awkward or uncomfortable at first, but it may be all it takes to connect them to help. At the same time, Wean says the film should not be seen as an indictment of those who have lost a loved one to suicide. While it is helpful to know the risk factors and warning signs(Opens in a new tab)Wean says survivors of suicide loss should never blame themselves if they miss these markers, if their loved one didn’t show them, or if they weren’t able to connect with the person who struggled.

However, through the lens of Joy’s return from the brink, the film helps dispel the myth that once someone starts feeling suicidal, they cannot heal or recover from those feelings.

“The big idea here is that suicide is never a matter of fate, preordained or destiny,” says Wean.

Karin says that Evelyn’s declaration that she would still choose to be with Joey even if she could be anywhere in the multiverse helped her to solidify and embrace the idea of ​​”being anywhere else but here.” Staying in the present moment and not getting lost in unrealistically high expectations of who she could be helped Karin diffuse the fatalism and nihilism that come with her depression.

“The philosophy right now is to do things out of love, which has been inspired by the communities and people around me who have shown me love,” says Carin.

If you’re feeling suicidal or experiencing a mental health crisis, talk to someone. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline can be reached at 988. The Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860. or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. Text “START” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Contact the NAMI Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI, Monday through Friday from 10:00 A.M. until 10:00 p.m. ET, or email [email protected]. If you don’t like the phone, consider using the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline Chat on crichat.org(Opens in a new tab). Here is one list of international resources(Opens in a new tab).

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