I, Origins (2014)


release date: 25 July 2015 (Canada)
run time: 106 mins
rated: PG
considered: Drama, Sci-Fi
director: Mike Cahill
starring: Michael Pitt, Brit Marling, Steven Yeun, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Dorien Makhloghi, Charles W. Gray, John Schiumo, Farasha Baylock, Ako, Christopher Sanataria, Sebastian Sanataria, Cara Seymour, Rhonda Ayers, Crystal Anne Dickinson, Venida Evans

movie summary: Ian (Michael Pitt) is a scientist who has spent his professional career breaking down the evolution of the eye. When he gets a new lab assistant, Karen (Brit Marling), she begins to ask new questions that help him unravel the jigsaw puzzles he’s spent years on. Just as things are progressing at work, he meets the most beautiful set of eyes he’s ever seen. These eyes happen to belong to a lovely girl named Sofi (Astrid Berges-Frisbey). The pair hit it off romantically until her tragic death leaves him in a mess. After years of research his theory is put to the test when Sophie’s exact eye pattern shows up in a database of a young girl in India. Ian must go there to see for himself whether this is real or not. 

my thoughts: I, Origins played in my city for about two weeks, at one of the independent theatres, and I was never able to get out to see it. After challenging myself to watch it as part of my Blind Spot series, I am disappointed I waited this long to see it. I was impressed with how thought-provoking this story was and how I did not see the twist coming at the end. The ending really made the whole movie worth while and left you wondering what if.

This sci-fi movie, which features the lovely Brit Marling, was an amazing movie that opens up your mind in regards to the debate between science and religion. Even though it doesn’t spend a whole lot of time discussing these two specific topics, it focuses more on the possibilities of one being right over the other. I personally have never gotten into these debates but do know that there are people who focus every minute of every day trying to prove the other side wrong. What I, Origins presents is one of these stories about a guy who has spent his entire career working on proving that humans have the capability to evolve.

You’ll question why a sci-fi movie would focus so much on a budding romance, but without Ian and Sofi’s relationship there would be no story here. If Ian had never met Sofi he’d still be sitting in a lab and trying to piece together the evolution of the eye. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and a series of events brought these two people together for a reason. Although this movie is very fictional it does open up the box on what happens to a soul once it passes to the other side and if reincarnation is a real thing or not. Everyone wishes that when a loved one dies that they could still have a piece of them, well Ian could be the first human in history to discover such a thing.

Most people know I am not a huge sci-fi buff and there’s no way I would have ever shown interest in I, Origins if it wasn’t for my crush on Marling. She is kinda of the third wheel for most of the movie, since everything is about Ian and Sofi. Despite her role at the beginning, Karen is in fact the hardest working character in the film. Late hours at the lab leads to a discovery that can resurrect Ian’s career after being down in the dumps for long after Sofi’s passing. Pitt’s character Ian meanwhile was someone I couldn’t get behind from the beginning and only after his trip to India did his Ian character finally grow on me. Ian is just a chain smoker who is borderline creepy for taking pictures of random people’s eyes, but that is his work and something he is very passionate about. I was behind his relationship, finding it to be quite charming, but anyone watching can see the tension it created at the lab. It’s these slow parts at the beginning of the film that make you question your selection and whether or not you should hit stop. Once again I’ll refer back to what I said earlier about everything happening for a reason, and if you keep watching you’ll see that true love sometimes has a funny way of working out.


my final thoughts: The majority of you probably clicked on my review, never hearing of the movie I, Origins or Brit Marling. I wish I could better describe what appealed to me so much about this film, but it would take away from some of the key elements of the story. By no means will I, Origins appeal to a wide audience, since it only made about $336k in ticket sales, although I personally think this is worth a one time watch. It is the kind of story that will leave your head spinning, the kind of spinning you don’t get from the usual Hollywood blockbuster.

my star rating: 8 out 10

imdb: 7.3 out 10 
metascore: 57/100 
rottentomatoes: 52% out 100% 
roger ebert: 3 out 4
richard crouse: 3 out 5

6 thoughts on “I, Origins (2014)

  1. Good review Ryan. It’s an interesting idea that seems doomed from the beginning. However, the movie spins well enough that it at least works.

    1. Thanks Dan. Amazingly sometimes when you least expect it, something will suprise you. This ended up being a better movie then I could have ever imagined.

    1. Thanks Kim! I love her in so many movies and I was thrilled to finally get around to watching this one. Great story with such an amazing twist at the end.

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