Since the movie gets a lot of criticism, I have to admit that it really is terrible… Unless you understand what it is trying to say.
It’s the same story we see in every popular movie or TV show – the story of a person who must accomplish the revolution by discovering the limitless power of his/her soul in order to achieve himself/herself (in other words to save the world). Only here the protagonist is not young, charismatic and sexy, but a middle-aged Chinese woman who has a washing machine business – Evelyn.
This is exactly why the film needs its ugliness in terms of style. The basic message is valid. It’s not just Neo who has to accomplish the revolution, Evelyn must do it as well. And her personal revolution will be exactly what fits her nature – it won’t be beautiful and sophisticated, but it will be ugly, absurd, at times tedious, and lacking in aesthetics in every aspect.
Everything in the film is based on the most prosaic events in the human life, because the aim is to see how the revolution takes place through the eyes of the most average person in the world. A person with whom, although they wouldn’t admit, too many people can identify themsleves. Evelyn has a failed marriage, a boring job, is about to irreversibly lose her daughter, and has never thought of herself as a being with any importance in the Universe.
And that’s exactly why the film begins with what is usually defined as the most trivial thing in the world – paying taxes. The scene where Evelyn is torn between the two worlds and must choose between paying her tax or saving the Universe is genius. This is the exact situation all humans are in on a daily basis, except they do not notice the second option.
The villain in the story, Jobu Tupaki, is all-powerful, the person closest to you, and not least of all, created by you. This is also true of the enemies of humanity in our universe. Jobu Tupaki has become a villain because she experiences everything simultaneously. The human mind is not suited for this and it is normal for such a reality to have no value to it. The key line is that if nothing matters, then all the pain and guilt of accomplishing nothing in your life disappears. It is clear that this is the main problem with people and that many would feel tempted to avoid this self-blame. But that would mean death to the soul and to everything human in us. In the end, Evelyn has to understand that she does not have to literally beat Jobu, but bring her back to life by showing her that she loves her and that there is meaning in earthly existence.
A moment of absolute perfection amidst the overall absurdity was the universe with the stones. Two beings just being, and contemplating the absolute. This place is completely sufficient for the universal soul to fully manifest itself and also to be a home of love, freedom and choice.
The film is full of other little motifs that are both clever and charming – the fact that you have to do weird things to connect with other universes; that the villain’s name sounds like nonsense, that not just Evelyn, but every character, had to go through their own revolution, that Alpha-Weymond told Evelyn she wasn’t the right one, which corresponds to a scene from The Matrix, and so on.
In order to win the revolution, we need to be able to find love in every situation. And to choose the good is not a choice of weakness or naivety, but a necessity and a strategic decision. But even then, the problem is not magically solved, and we still have to engage in a real battle to achieve the ultimate goal. And victory itself is quite natural, and ultimately it is the right state of the universe.