I Origins, the second feature film from writer and director Mike Cahill, tells the story of Dr. Ian Gray (Michael Pitt), a molecular biologist studying the evolution of the eye. He finds his work permeating his life after a brief encounter with an exotic young woman (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey) who slips away from him. As his research continues years later with his lab partner Karen (Brit Marling), they make a stunning scientific discovery that has far reaching implications and complicates both his scientific and spiritual beliefs. Traveling half way around the world, he risks everything he has ever known to validate his theory.
My Opinion: I’m sure that Cahill wanted this to ultimately be an inspirational story, but I found it to be a colossal mess. For me, there are two factors that just ruined the film for me, and I’m not sure where the blame goes. One is the black-and-white view of science vs. spirituality from Dr. Gray. There’s no subtlety here. Dr. Gray is dogmatic in his pursuit of disproving anything spiritual through science. The other is Dr. Gray’s pursuit of Sofi. I know that a lot of films include relentless following of a potential love interest by a protagonist that could come across as stalker-ish, but this is the first time I’ve seen it come across so…creepy. Cahill deserves a lot of the blame for coming up with these issues, but Pitt doesn’t help by being so devoid of any sort of charisma.