I Origins follows a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the human eye. He finds his work permeating his life after a brief encounter with an exotic young woman who slips away from him. As his research continues years later with his lab partner, they make a stunning scientific discovery that has far reaching implications and complicates both his scientific and and spiritual beliefs. Traveling half way around the world, he risks everything he has ever known to validate his theory.
I suspect Brit Marling makes some well-considered choices about what she gets involved in. Mike Cahill also directed her in Another Earth (2011) and I feel a bit the same about both movies: interesting premise, but somewhat frustratingly they don’t quite deliver.
I Origins starts out as a fairly straightforward drama / love story, but the story shifts its focus halfway through to raise the questions it is really trying to address and get the audience to think about, including the good-ol’ question whether science and faith are mutually exclusive territories.
And it is interesting, but it stays too shallow on both ends of the spectrum to really challenge anyone’s beliefs.
But it’s still worth a watch and I would keep an eye on what Brit Marling does next – Sound of my Voice, Another Earth, The East, I Origins – they are all interesting movies even if they don’t quite reach the level of impact they could have achieved.