Spoiler-Free Review of
I Origins (2014), 18 July [Limited Release]
113 min – Drama | Sci-Fi
Starring: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey
Director: Mike Cahill
I Origins was chosen for the very first Dolby Family Sound Fellowship at Sundance Institute.
An honor never given before to in Independent film. It’s an opportunity to use Dolby’s immersive sound technology, Dolby Atmos within the film mixed at Skywalker sound.
The film won 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s Alfred P. Sloan Prize, which recognizes films that depict science and technology. The Director’s second time winning this award.
Director Mike Cahill reported, there are over 200 special effects shots in this film.
Cahill is working on two projects. One is a sequel to I Origins (2014), there’s a post-credits teaser after the film.
From when he was young, Molecular Biologist Ian Grey (Michael Pitt) was always been fascinated by the beauty and mystery of the human eye. The fact that no two irises are alike. At a costume party Ian meets Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), a woman covered by a mask revealing only her beautiful eyes. He asks if he can take a photo of them, as he often does with people. After a moment of amorous toying, he makes the error in asking who she is and she’s off.
The other woman in Ian’s life is Karen (Brit Marling), his new first-year lab assistant. Together they work with the idea of trans-mutating functioning eyes to a species without. Ian can’t seem to think of any eyes other than Sofi’s. The Scientist, guided by a bit destiny, finds her. Sofi is an exotic Argentine-French girl, who believes in a higher being in play.
Without giving more away, the film is very complex in its themes. Pitt, Bergès-Frisbey and Marling’s performances are good in their roles. Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun plays Ian’s close friend, lab partner and much-needed comic relief in some scenes.
There’s a bit of science involved in the film, but it doesn’t take away from the emotional triangle within the characters. I was intrigued by the theoretical science featured throughout the film. I would even go far to say, it plays an important character in the movie. Cahill’s ambitious sophomore film is a fascinating exploration of science, spirituality and fate intersecting. In its core, I Origins it’s a visually beautiful love story. I enjoyed the film quite a bit. If you are open to an entertaining film with existential themes, this film will deliver.
I was honored in being able to watch this film in a Dolby Atmos theater. The sound places you in the scene of the film, as if you are physically there. There is a pivotal scene taking place in an elevator and it was a bit eerie. If you are fortunate to be able to watch this or any other film in a Dolby Atmos theater, prepare for an amazing aural experience.