‘I Origins’ Trailer: Michael Pitt Only Has Eyes for One Girl, and Then Another Across the World

By  · Published on April 12th, 2014

Fox Searchlight

[Rob’s note: Fair warning, this trailer and post contain 2nd/3rd act spoilers that Fox Searchlight should have known better than to include in their marketing.]

There’s a point that we get to in movie trailers where fantastical and awe-inspiring story becomes maybe a little too hokey and we’re left with the cheesy pieces. It’s hard to say if there’s one singular problem causing this phenomenon to happen or if attempting to cram every crazy event that happens in the film into a little over two minutes just makes it seem extra ridiculous.

Such is the case with the trailer for I Origins, a film that will probably be perfectly enjoyable once it hits theaters. But packed in pint-sized form, things seem to be getting out of hand for this team of scientists and their host of crazed ideas. The story follows Michael Pitt as a biologist who spends his time studying the function and mapping of the human eye. In his time outside the lab, he’s falling deeply in love with Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), a girl with beautiful, mesmerizing eyes ‐ “the eyes that changed this world.”

After some sort of tragedy befalls the couple, Sofi is out of the picture, but her eyes are still the focus of his strange life, especially when his pretty lab assistant (Brit Marling) points out that a child in India has the exact same eye mapping as his beloved. What that means is beyond me (and hopefully you; I don’t like feeling dumb), but it’s clear that it’s BIG. It’s enough to get him on a plane to India in search of finding this mysterious human and finding the answers that lie in her eyes ‐ is she the key to unlocking the secrets of the universe?

It’s an intriguing concept, but the trailer is bogged down by a mess of additional details that are as equally puzzling. The film, from writer-director Mike Cahill (Another Earth), places much fixation on numbers. What would their relation to eyes possibly be? Furthermore, has nobody ever told him that wishing on the clock at 11:11 is a very common, not supernatural thing? It’s positively Instagrammable. A smattering of white peacocks throughout the trailer without much explanation is also worth discussing. Do they have mysterious, magical eyes too, or is it something else entirely?

Check out the trailer below:

Peacocks and pretty eyes aside, our own Rob Hunter reviewed the film at Sundance and found that it was “undeniably built off of a somewhat silly concept, and like Another Earth it’s a film that will understandably not work for everyone. It’s an odd dichotomy, though, in that a movie built around scientific theories requires such a leap of faith by viewers for it to reach its intended goal.”

Let’s see how I Origins plays out in its longer-than-trailer form when it hits theaters on July 18th.