An All-Spoiler Space: ‘I Origins’

Michael Pitt and Astrid Berges-Frisbey are in love in "I Origins." Credit: Fox Searchlight
Michael Pitt and Astrid Berges-Frisbey are in love in “I Origins.”
Credit: Fox Searchlight

OK, so you’ve seen “I Origins” or you don’t mind it being ruined. If not, turn back to the review now.

What happens is Ian and Karen prove that the eye evolved naturally, which is pretty incredible (and hopefully not far off in the real world). Around this time Sofi dies in a horrific (and slightly quirky) tragedy, leaving Ian devastated. But years later he discovers, using cutting edge eye scanning technology that really exists (if not to the degree of accuracy as in the film), that she may have been reincarnated in a young Indian girl. In fact, reincarnation appears to be real and there appears to be something like a soul.

But “I Origins” stops before it says something like, “And therefore that proves that there is a God.” It doesn’t believe this. This discovery is discovered by scientists, who actively and excitedly pursue it, learning — in a sequence put for no good reason after the credits — that such historical figures as Abraham Lincoln, Shakespeare, Gandhi and others have reincarnated in other people.

This is all well and good. But the arc for Ian goes a bit differently. He tests this young Indian girl for knowledge only Sofi would know. She gets an average score, meaning there is no apparent proof that the girl is a kind of rebooted Sofi. And yet in the final moments before the end credits, she reacts horrifically to an elevator. Sofi in fact died in a freak elevator accident. Ian grabs her and runs with her out of the buildings, having flip-flopped to believing this proves reincarnation is real and who knows what else?

It can still be argued, and very robustly, that this remains scientific — that reincarnation is not part of some supreme being’s plan but just part of nature. And that’s a great, refreshing way to attack this idea. But Ian’s arc tips us to believe in something more, and will certainly be interpreted that way by people who don’t tend to go for scientific reasoning. Indeed, those people will likely come away from “I Origins” thinking that there’s something vaguely “spiritual,” if not outright religious, about this movie that is otherwise very passionate about the scientific method. It could have easily expressed wonder at the universe by not having this arc — because it’s a terrible cliche that if you can only experience awe at the universe if you don’t embrace the scientific method. “I Origins” knows this but it could express it better.

Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Hurricane Odile batters Mexico's Baja resorts, sparks looting

Hurricane Odile injured dozens of people, forced the evacuation of thousands and smashed shops open to looters in the popular tourist area of Baja, Mexico.

National

Apple iPhone 6 pre-orders hit record 4 million…

By Lehar Maan(Reuters) - Apple Inc said many customers will need to wait until next month for their new iPhones after a record 4 million…

National

LAPD investigates complaint from detained 'Django' actress

The LAPD is investigating after "Django Unchained" actress Daniele Watts accused police of violating her rights when they detained her.

Local

Number of New York City smokers increase, topping…

For the first time since 2007, there are  more than one million smokers in New York City, according to the New York City Department of…

Movies

Newsflash: Corey Stoll is still not a man

In director Shaun Levy's "This Is Where I Leave You," Corey Stoll stars as the oldest of four adult children (the others are played by…

Movies

If you don't like Simon Pegg's new film,…

Simon Pegg goes all out in "Hector and the Search for Happiness" as the titular psychiatrist stymied by modern life who embarks on a globetrotting…

Arts

Art in Chelsea: Don't miss these 3 galleries

We selected three sure bets for seeing cool art in the galleries of Chelsea.

Music

Robin Thicke blurs lines further with new 'Blurred…

"The reality is," said Robin Thicke about "Blurred Lines" in a court deposition, "Pharrell had the beat and he wrote almost every single part of the song."

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

NFL

3 things we learned in Jets loss to…

The wheels came off for the Jets, who gave up 21 unanswered points after a brilliant first 20 minutes in a 31-24 loss at the Packers.

NFL

Victor Cruz catches case of the drops in…

The Giants dropped a tough, 25-14, decision to the undermanned Cardinals Sunday in their home opener. And drop was the operative word of the day,…

Travel

World's most hipster cities: Top 5

Travel blogger Adam Groffman tells us his picks for the Top 5 most hipster cities in the world.

Education

The top 5 regrets recent high school grads…

College application season can seem like a blur for many students - as test prep, campus visits and filling out a seemingly endless stream of…

Parenting

Tech execs tend to limit their kids' screen…

You probably got your iPad before Bill Gates's kids did.

Wellbeing

Wellbeing: Daybreaker returns, Ray Rice jersey trade, Sweet…

  Now that Ray Rice is no longer with the Baltimore Ravens — or any other NFL team — after video footage surfaced showing him…