Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Another Earth is the story of guilt and regret. If there is another planet out there that is exactly like earth populated by doubles of ourselves, have they made the same life decisions as us? Maybe they chose a different path and ended up in a better position than us. Those are questions Rhoda (Brit Marling) has. The night Earth 2 is discovered, the same night she was accepted into MIT, she crashed her car into another vehicle, killing the wife and son of Yale Music Professor John Burroughs (William Mapother). Years later, having served her time in prison, she's working as a high school janitor, still haunted by her mistake. When a company offers passage to Earth 2 to the winner of an essay contest, Rhoda looks to the sky.
Rhoda, we see, reaches out to John and tries to better his life. We sense her guilt and believe she wants to do the right thing, whatever that is, but she doesn't know. Their relationship evolves from cautiously professional (she arrives at his house and claims to be a maid with a cleaning service) to friendship and eventually romance. Still, her life is one of sorrow and remorse; her world has grown colder, darker, and less promising. As she notes in her essay, the explorers of the New World were often people living on the edge - convicts, orphans, outcasts, etc. - who saw sailing across the Atlantic, journeying into the unknown in the hope of something better.