A tale that cannot decide whether it is a sci fi epic, comedy or social satire, “From Other Worlds” is a bold breath of fresh air in a cineomographic business that only turns out movies that are safe and fit into a mold that is guaranteed to bring in the cash.
Joanne (Cara Buono) is a depressed housewife from Brooklyn who is searching for meaning and purpose in her life. Her melancholy comes to a halt one night after an alien encounter leaves her with a mysterious mark above her hip. She attends a UFO support group, yearning to learn more about what happened to her. Here she meets Abraham, (Isaach De Bankol©) who had a similar encounter and bears the same mark as Joanne. Her general boredom and curiosity lead her to join forces with Abraham to investigate this strange coincidence.
Their investigation conveniently falls into place and takes them on a literary ride through Ancient Egypt, where they connect the strange symbol on their bodies to a mysterious scroll that has survived thousands of years and is currently in a New York City museum. In the museum, scientists are preparing to open the scroll and decipher its contents. Joanne and Abraham soon meet their alien friend face-to-face, who explains that they were chosen to save the human race by preventing this scroll from being opened, as it contains information that will unleash chaos and lead to a downfall of society. Joanne and Abraham take his word for it and set off on a cliche mission to save the world, enlisting the help of their wacko friends from the UFO support group.
The plot is unoriginal in its nature, but the approach taken to tell the story is unique. Two strangers from completely different walks of life join together for a common purpose. There is a lot of emphasis placed on their budding friendship and what they learn about each other. The chemistry between Buono and de Bankole is lacking, but it almost makes it more interesting for the audience to watch the two bond not only over their common purpose but how they interact with the other. Buono is very convincing in her role as a bored domestic wife who is simply searching for more, and is a genuine relatable character.
The movie is more philosophical than comical, but there is some clever social commentary. The movie may leave you confused and searching for an answer to the madness you just witnessed, but that may be one of its appeals.
From Other Worlds made a limited release on Jan. 27.