Another Earth: is a second chance really possible?

There are so many good movies that don’t arrive to our local theatres and which you hardly hear about. “Another Earth” (2011) is one of them. But if on 24 July 2011 I had not read a very short post by Gary Lightbody (lead singer of Snow Patrol), who claimed he wanted to see it and enclosed a link to the trailer, I would hardly have thought of looking for it among the many possible choices on Sky TV or other sources.

Instead it took a very short post to intrigue me, but then the film stayed there for years before I decided to watch it.

It is an independent film, so don’t expect amazing special effects or a large cast, but at the same time you can rest assured that you’ll be amazed, because, being released from the logic of blockbusters, which must be a success to cover the enormous costs to produce them, independent films (a bit like the works of independent musicians or independent authors) have the privilege of being able to dare.
The film is directed by Mark Cahill, a little-known director of three independent films (of which this is the second one).
The role of the female protagonist is entrusted to Brit Marling, who later starred in such films as “Arbitrage” (in which she played the daughter of Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon) and “The Company You Keep” (Robert Redford).
The male protagonist is played by William Mapother, whom TV series fans will remember as Ethan Rom in “Lost”, but who hangs about big cinema productions, although in smaller roles, since 1989.

At first glance the plot would seem that of a science fiction film or more generally of a film that is part of the speculation fiction genre, reminding of “The Twilight Zone”.
A habitable planet identical to Earth is discovered, and it is approaching. They call it Earth 2, for simplicity. However, its being identical to the Earth doesn’t only apply to its shape. This fact should be already enough to scare all the inhabitants of our planet and make them believe they are victims of a collective hallucination, instead, in a kind of surreal atmosphere, people seem just curious. But what makes this discovery even more incredible is the fact that, after four years, when the two planets are in communication distance, they realise that Earth 2 seems to have the same inhabitants of Earth.

Are they living the same life?

In this context you are shown the story of Rhoda Williams, who on the night of the first sighting of Earth 2, when she is a bit tipsy after a party, is driving a car while trying to see the new blue dot in the night sky and, in so doing, she causes an accident in which two people dies and one ends up in a coma.
I don’t tell you what will happen later, because the beauty of this film is to follow the unpredictable turn of events. Indeed, I have already revealed too much.

Suffice to say that it is a dramatic, redemption story, which uses an imaginative context to address the topic of second chances.

Can there be a second chance for a person who has made such a horrible act that even she cannot forgive herself?

Rhoda tries to discover it as she puts back together the pieces of her life and try to make amends, but things don’t go exactly the way we had expected.
In about 90 minutes we follow her with bated breath, only partly interested in the story of second Earth, but the latter will prove crucial to the conclusion that is consumed in the last 10 minutes of the movie, leaving us dumbfounded as we think about it for a few minutes. Or for some days, as it happened to me.