Friday, December 6, 2013

Another Earth

It wouldn't be a stretch for some people, myself included, to say that Another Earth is not really a true sci-fi film.  Although there is the idea that 'aliens' exist, the movie is more of a drama than it is a science fiction.  The story is about a young girl who kills a man's family in a car accident while looking up at the sky at another earth that mysteriously appeared.  After a stay in jail, she struggles with guilt and tries to decide whether or not to apologize to the man, who has become an alcoholic.  The sci-fi aspect of this film, the second earth and moon, is only a backdrop to the main story.  Eventually, Rhoda tells John that the car crash was her fault, and to try to make it up to him, gives him her ticket to the other earth that she won in a contest.  The movie explains that there is a possibility that peoples' clones on the other earth may have not led the exact same life as their other.  Rhoda thinks that John's family might still be alive on the other earth, so he gives him the chance to find out.  At the end on the movie, Rhoda returns home to find her clone from the other earth standing in her driveway.  This would mean that her other also won the ticket, but didn't give it away.  It is open to interpretation whether or not this means that Rhoda II never had the crash to begin with, or did and just kept the ticket for herself.  While calling this a sci-fi film would technically be correct because there are aliens and alien worlds, this is more a story about guilt and forgiveness that just happens to involve the other earth.
    Having seen the Hunger Games prior to this film, there are many differences between the two female main characters.  Obviously, Rhoda is no warrior or hero type as Katniss is, and neither is she very concerned with protecting her own loved ones.  Katniss was thrown into her situation against her will, while Rhoda's car crash was entirely her fault and avoidable.  Probably the only noticeable similarity between them is that both characters exhibit guilt, but for different reasons.  Katniss feels guilt for having to kill people for sport, while Rhoda is guilty for killing people on accident.  Their own kind of guilt is what makes them choose their actions later in the films.  The main similarity between the two is that they're both emotionally driven and emotionally flawed.  Rhoda tries to apologize to John when she first meets him, but backs out when she sees the state he's living in.  Katniss has a bond with Peeta, but almost compromises the plan to survive to avoid being separated from him.  Rhoda shows in the end that she is a strong character, and not a kind of coward as she has been acting like.  By giving up her ticket and chance to start a new life, she behaves selflessly and gives someone else an ounce of hope, just like Katniss had.

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