On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate planet, the lives of young, bright student Rhoda (Brit Marling) and successful composer John (William Mapother) tragically cross paths in a fatal car accident and are irrevocably intertwined. Four years from the accident and Rhoda leaves prison a felon; an outsider in society desperate to make amends to the bereaved man whose life she ruined four years prior.
When granted a once in a lifetime opportunity to start a new life on ‘Earth 2,’ Rhoda is finally met with a way out, a route to escapism that she has so longed for. But with the development of her strange relationship with John riddled with complications and guilt, and as the truth precariously unravels, it becomes a route she has difficulty in seizing.
The running plot of a duplicate planet which all too suddenly appears visible to Earth is a flimsy one and a poor claim to label the film a sci-fi. The population’s apparent mass hysteria is revealed through a small cast and connections between the two planets are even less believable. But as a plaintive drama and a coming-of-age-tale of redemption and salvation wrapped around the cosmic relationship between two people disorientated in the world they inhabit, director Cahill (and co-writer & leading actress Brit Marling) has created a compelling debut story of parallel lives and second chances.
The pulsing soundtrack effectively engages with the charging emotion between the two leading characters as well as with Rhoda’s disengagement with the earth she knows paralleled with an over-hanging hope of a more promising one. With films of generic sci-fi elements often calling for huge CGI effects to spark explosive apocalyptic crashes, Another Earth’s use of digital-video relies on it’s fresh indie roots, mirroring what is still a rare placement of ideas over actions in films today.