There is no certainty except death and taxes, and the science fiction film Everything at once is part of a shocking story about the latter. The tax office is the ultimate head of every immigrant family who have too many generations living under one roof, hard-to-explain receipts, or feeders with limited English. It was the first time I had ever seen one of my deepest fears on the money screen: that my life was very messy, very strange, too naaxday in this country. EEAO reveals the most shameful insecurity in Asian America and loves us.
Everything at once is a science fiction film about a broken laundry owner who is thrown into a fight with a chaotic group. But it is also an Action film that particularly respects Hong Kong martial arts films, animation, romance, and comedy. EEAO is a smorgasbord not working, but it works. That is because the film has a permanent map of the entire site: the black circle of the Wangs tax center. These hardworking immigrants can defeat any enemy, but their tax is a white whale that can never be bypassed.
Immediately after the film’s release, the Wang family introduced Frankensteined texts in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. They did not speak slowly – instructions and ideas were shot back and forth like badminton. The Wangs lived in an apartment building in the same building as the laundry. Even before Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) jumped between multiple faces, she constantly changed her work and life at home. Evelyn was not necessarily a powerful and original traveler; The life of an immigrant was the most effective and efficient training available to her.
But even the most talented immigrant woman had her kryptonite: tax season. Tax fraud was a deceptive fear that went beyond both education and honesty, a test for non-Americans to fail. Wanggu was not an “ordinary” American family for American institutes. They were a multilingual family with a mixed birth status. Instead of being a tax collector, they had lots of notebooks, a baby interpreter, and sweets. They had to be liars and liars to survive in a country historically the Chinese have been excluded from public life.
Model minority myths teach white Americans that Asians are the best immigrants and give satanic bargains: hide their dirty laundry and this country would treat them with a decent fate. Evelyn pursued this respect even when pressures were clearly destroying her mental health and her dusty relationship. Although the Wangs were better off than the unpopular immigrant groups, they were still seen as suspicious foreigners in US institutions.
When I watched Waymond Wang (Ke Huy Quan) tread on a bribe box in a tax accountant, I remembered what my aunt had learned about speeding tickets: the police might be more lenient with women crying. This is a fact for immigrant families who do not come from property or whose children do not make magna cum laude Harvard. Salvation is built on a lot of “harmless” lies and blatant lies, such as Evelyn’s claim that her karaoke expenses were tax deductible.
While the Evelyn family has an immigrant struggle, they are only close enough general acceptance. All she had to do was lie to her daughter-in-law, exaggerate her clients’ success in laundry, and hide her husband’s divorce papers. If the United States does not accept who she is, then her only option is to become someone else no matter what. Even if that involves a bit of jumping.
In a different schedule, Alpha Evelyn said “fuck it” and invented different trips. America is a country where people can do anything and everything. Why not do it all at once? By engaging in unconventional actions such as eating lip balm, size-jumpers can adapt to another type of self. Doing so will allow them to gain new experience, such as martial arts or kitchen utensils. Waymond tells Evelyn she can do all these things because she is incompetent. I do not agree I think she pushed to be all these people because she wants to be anyone other than the owner of a small laundry room who can not see anything beyond paying the next bill. Evelyn is not stupid. She knows better than anyone that she is going to have a rupture. And if Asian immigrants are not the capital of the American S people, then they may not be here at all.
EEAO it’s about a lot more than taxes. The film struggles with the question of whether Evelyn deserves the American life she has. Not good at English or math. Their business promotes huge debt. As Waymond puts it, she is not particularly good at everything. Her father further accused Evelyn of being indecisive. If she were just smarter, stronger, or more attractive, then she might have more than a cheap family and a tax return. Every time she went into another life, I wondered if she would be happy with the other one. Maybe Evelyn in the world where everyone had hot dogs had a better married life than Evelyn who married Waymond.
Most days, I feel like Evelyn. Despite the number of successes I have had in my struggle (English has never been my first language either), it always feels like I have cheated on the system. As I stumbled upon a skill I simply had that I was too fond of accepting a “no” answer. Owner of a laundry, how many times must one be denied a loan or a neighbor’s attention that I do not think the Chinese people have?
There is a Chinese saying: 机不可失 ， 时不再来. It means that once you fail to take advantage of the opportunity, you are forever lost. The film shows Evelyn having many opportunities to become a bigger laundromat owner. She could have chosen not to run away from home to marry the boy she loved. It can open in Waymond in America. She could have tried to be a chef. She can train physically – she must have, she can have, she has never done. Variety really isn’t Evelyn’s possible source but it is an early soup of all her past regrets.
Evelyn’s daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) finally convinces her mother to let go of the burden. The special effect is successful as Evelyn serves Waymond on divorce papers, delivers her daughter to unstoppable chaos, and destroys the laundry. It is thought to make it feel a little weird for both the actors and the audience. But at the same time, she feels sad. The laundry was not only oppressive – it was her family’s ambition. Even if she tries to give up the life she has made for herself, she is not really a movie star or a karate master like the rest of the world. He is a well-to-do landlord with a non-working family and a back-up tax she pays.
In many films about women struggling in their marriage, a woman succeeds when she leaves. When Evelyn divorced her husband on one scale and allowed her daughter to go on another, I thought that was where the movie was going. But EEAO not a bad film, directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert understand that the exit does not liberate Evelyn. As it goes on, it destroys everything it has ever fought for. When people throw away bad things, sometimes they end up doing good as well.
I was seriously injured several times during this film. I did not think I had any more to pay when the last act took place. But I was wrong. By the end of the film, Evelyn is able to accept that she does not need to spend her life together. Hell of a commonwealth, no one has a life together. As long as there is only one person who can accept that you are a mixed bag (if you can accept others as a mess), the rest is nothing. EEAO reject the idea that we have to be perfect to be loved. I thought I was told I could be the best kind of person myself in love. But after watching this movie, I felt I deserved it even if I did not try to be the master of my destiny.
The next time I really need an IRS extension, I allow myself to apply for one. No one’s life is clean. We should not punish ourselves for improper tax returns.