What the Bleep Do We Know?

What the Bleep Do We Know? - Film Review

What the Bleep Do We Know? .

Directed by William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, Mark Vicente

Written by William Arntz, Betsy Chasse, Mark Vicente

Comedy Drama.

What starts as a fascinating introduction to Quantum Physics is diluted into a confused and misleading spiritual message about life. In an increasingly secular world where people do not following any particular religion, they are open to spiritual suggestion and ‘What the Bleep’ exploits this phenomenon with gusto.

The (3!) directors have attempted to combine the infinitesimally complex theories behind Quantum Physics, with the airy-fairy world of Spirituality. The accepted scientific theories of Quantum Physics, presented by learned professors in studies full of books, are used to

What the Bleep Do We Know? - Film Review

describe the apparently very real possibilities of alternative realities. According to one scientist experiments in laboratories have already taken place proving two objects can exist simultaneously in more than one point in space. These mind boggling theories force you to devote your undivided attention. Your imagination irreversibly captured so begins the brain washing. Less believable schools of thought are introduced with a shift in the scientists represented. The enthusiastically nerdy scientific opinions of messers Wolf et al are replaced by the suspiciously spiritual messages of Ramtha. Alarm bells start to ring when we are led to believe that taping different words to flasks of water causes specific pretty patterns to emerge….please!

Disappointment soon replaces intrigue. Instead of explaining the theories of Quantum Physics in more depth, the message becomes repetitive and you are force fed misinformation a la Michael Moore. The ideas of alternative realities are nothing new, ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Sliding Doors’ are much more entertaining demonstrations. If this were intended as a documentary, more time should have been spent on explaining the scientific fact behind the possibilities, rather than confusing the message with untested spiritualistic claptrap. It is a sad world where films this disingenuous can attract an underground word-of-mouth following to become more popular than the socially conscious film ‘Supersize Me’. Discouragingly, ‘What The Bleep?’ has attracted a cult audience of frustrated individuals who spend their days pondering on what their lives could be like in an alternative reality.

The feeble demonstration of the theories behind the film are acted out by Marlee Martin playing a depressed female photographer going about her mundane everyday life in a world depicted not dissimilar to the Matrix, however less impressive. Her deafness suggests alienation allowing her more time to contemplate her existence. Her biological functions are represented by amateurish computer animations reminiscent of the 70s educational cartoon ‘Once Upon a Time Life.’ The performances are adequate but this is not a film many respected actors would want to put their name to unless Kabbalah initiates. It is a sad fact that due to the dumbing down of contemporary television programmes, this film could not be entirely based on scientific fact and the fundamental biological properties of our body not taught in the same way as to pre-schoolers.

On the plus side ‘What the Bleep’ does have some positive, if basic themes. If the viewer leaves the theatre having learnt the world is not black and white and right and wrong are not easily distinguishable, then the film has served a purpose. It also encourages the viewer to keep asking questions about the world we live in, again, a simple message one to which not everyone adheres.

Apparently ‘What the Bleep’ is set to knock ‘Supersize Me’ out of 3 rd position in the ‘highest grossing documentary of all time’ category. ‘Supersize Me’ - an education into the inherent hazards of a fast food diet aimed at the industry and consumers - was released when the media agenda was very anti fast food and profits slumped. ‘Supersize Me’ was semi-responsible. One fast food chain virtually re-branded their entire menu as a healthier option. But it was a pyrrhic victory, while McDonalds were forced to make subtle changes to their menu, the star of the film caused himself serious physical ill health. If ‘What the Bleep’ captures the imagination, encouraging people to discover more about the physical properties of the world it has some merit, especially with physics one of the most unpopular subjects in school. But if it promotes apathy and a laissez faire ‘oh well, I’m probably doing alright in another universe’ attitude then this film encourages mental ill health..


Alex Mula