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The Important Symbol In Everything Everywhere All At Once You Might Have Missed

Trying to adequately explain "Everything Everywhere All at Once" to someone who hasn't seen the film is a little bit like, well, it's not an exercise in futility per se, but it's a sure-fire way to have one's sanity cast in doubt. After all, every frame of A24's multiversal majesty could be taken out of context and somehow describe an entirely different picture. That being said, beneath the sentient rocks and the deadly usage of adult toys and hot dog fingers is a film about a family struggling to connect. Everything else? That's all metaphors and symbolism. Well, except for the hot dog fingers. I could've done without those. 

Some of the thematically relevant content was easy to spot, like how Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh), who was deeply displeased with the trajectory of her life, spent a significant portion of the film trapped inside an IRS office where her business decisions were dispassionately dissected. Other parallels were harder to spot or tangled up in the intentionally absurd visual aesthetic that "Everything Everywhere All at Once" thrives upon. For anyone hoping for a modicum of clarity, a fan of the film shared their favorite symbol and laid out why it was so successful. 

The googly eye gag represents Evelyn's opposition to Jobu Tupaki

In a subreddit dedicated to cinema, u/LiteraryBoner hosted an official discussion about "Everything Everywhere All at Once." One of the top-rated comments came from u/Hoteske, who said, "One detail ... I really liked was when Michelle Yeoh put the googly eye on her forehead, the colors were direct opposites to the everything bagel ... it was a neat way of representing how, despite Evelyn being awakened to the multiverses, she decides that no, things exist that do matter. She has an optimistic outlook instead of Jobu's nihilistic one. Despite having the same experiences, she rejects Jobu's philosophy and finds meaning in her family."

Even spelled out, it's still a lot to digest, so let's break it down further. In the context of the film, the "everything bagel" was a physical manifestation of the all-consuming nihilism that Jobu Tupaki, aka Joy Wang (Stephanie Hsu), was experiencing. Without getting too bogged down in scientific terminology, directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert told Vulture that the symbolism stemmed from a real theoretical physics equation known as the Schwarzschild radius. This equation determines the effort required to condense matter into a black hole, thereby removing it from our existence. While being visually divergent from the bagel, the googly eye was analogous to the spiritual third eye depicted in religions such as Hinduism (via Gaia), where it represents an awakened, insightful mind. 

And that sums up the film's symbology rather well — monumental depth thinly disguised by absurd silliness.