I Origins
R
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -4

Michael Pitt, Steven Yeun, Astrid Berges-Frisbey. Sci-fi drama. Co-Written & directed by Mike Cahill.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Obsessed with the complex structure of eyes, believing them to be evidence of evolution, a molecular biologist and his assistant go all Frankenstein and attempt to create one, themselves. Thought to be as distinctive as finger prints, the scientists are aghast when they discover that some people inherit the eyes of those who have come and gone before them. Suddenly, the data-minded scientists, still not believing in the spiritual element in mankind, must consider that fact. Where do they seek the solution? India, where the film ultimately leaves audiences with the theory of reincarnation.

The suspense/mystery plot is intermingled with a love story. Through a chance and brief meeting with an exotic free spirit with incredible eyes, the scientist goes to great lengths to find her again. And by golly he does, with a great deal of help from a predestined fate. Soon, a torrid love affair begins. Believing there is more to life than science can answer, she offers him a sort of flower power concept of God, one that suggests we can find, understand and be a part of God though evidently without acknowledging the teachings found in the very book He wrote. But it isnít just the Christian or Jewish faith she and the filmmaker disavow. The couple attempt sex the very hour they meet. Which religion allows for that?

Before they can marry, he once again loses her when a freak and gory accident claims her life. Ah, but will he find his lost love yet again?

PREVIEW REVIEW: A character can be conflicted throughout a film, but if the moviemaker is, then you are left with a film that is neither fish nor fowl. Such is the case with I Origins, about an atheistic scientist who only believes in laboratory results. Co-written and directed by Mike Cahill (Another Earth), the two-stories-in-one are both clumsy and unfocused.

The concept of God is offered to the lead several times, but never from a New Testament perspective. Indeed, the only Christian character in the entire film is presented as a boob. Whatís more, thatís the only purpose for that character, who briefly appears in two scenes. Itís difficult to not consider this characterization as a bigoted, prejudiced view of Christ and those who follow Him. Which raises the questions: how does the filmmaker know emphatically that Christianity is wrong, and why is it so important to him to convince others not to seek God through Jesus?

The production offers up an original storyline and fine performances, but when one knows the way, it is unsatisfying to view a film where people seek every way but the way.

DVD Alternatives: Signs. M. Night Shyamalan's psychological thriller is about alien beings coming to take over Earth.†The film also has an intriguing take concerning coincidence in our daily lives:†Do things happen by chance or do they serve to develop our nature?† Shyamalan's film was about finding our way Ė or finding our way back.†Full review

The Case for Faith. Journalist Lee Strobel investigates two of the most emotional objections to Christianity, which have become barriers to faith and are confronted by believers and skeptics alike: Why is Jesus the only way to God? And, how could a loving God exist if there is evil and suffering in the world? It is a spiritually rewarding film. Full review

Life of Pi. Profound and spiritual, Life of Pi is also the most visually stunning film of that year. Like Terrence Malickís The Tree of Life, Life of Pi bedazzles with CGI visuals that add to and support the filmís viscerally emotional impact. As with Mr. Malick, filmmaker Ang Lee is unafraid of bringing the subjects of God, faith, and the seeking of spiritual fulfillment to the Cineplex. Full review

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Verisimilitude

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Around 12 obscenities, mostly the s- and f-words.
Profanity: I caught no misuse of Godís name.
Violence: A woman is killed in a freak accident, the incident is gory and unsettling.
Sexual Intercourse: There are several sexual situations between a young couple, some become graphic; in one scene, a man is seen masturbating while looking at a photo of his former love, though he is now married to another woman.
Nudity: A couple of nude scenes, with a woman seen topless.
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Some drinking and the lead is a smoker.
Other: None
Running Time: 113 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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