Directed by: Mark Vincente, Betsy Chase, William Arntz | 156 minutes | animation, documentary | Actors: Marlee Matlin, Barry Newman, Elaine Hendrix, Armin Shimerman, Robert Bailey, Jr., John Ross Bowie
What a relief and improvement is “What the Bleep !? – Down the Rabbit Hole” (2006) over the original from 2004. In the meantime, the creators have apparently found the best way to present roughly the same content to the viewer. It is therefore recommended to skip “What the Bleep Do We Know !?” (2004) and dive straight into “The Rabbit Hole”. This eye opener of a documentary opens with a catchy intro about the conflict between religion versus science and a possible ending. This is followed by rapid interviews alternated with cool animations and Amanda’s experiences in support.
This time the interviews are much lighter, more playful and with multiple scholars. Nice backgrounds have been chosen for the interviews. The material in this film is also presented in a very understandable and substantiated way with a lot of humor and a regular link to everyday reality. This makes the story of particles, dimensions, consciousness, thoughts, perception, electrons, neurons, peptides, receptors, meditation, human influence, emotional addictions, etc. interesting, convincing and entertaining. The funny visual effects and animations with, among others, Dr. Quantum (a comic book hero from the quantum physical world) do a lot of good here. The new extra animation in which Dr. Quantum allows an initially fearful circle to discover the third dimension is very telling.
The first documentary mainly came across as a vague gossip of people who take themselves too seriously. This film makes up for this by bringing in experts who are not averse to some self-mockery (see the end when their names come into view). They also know how to use practical examples and to ask the right follow-up questions as if they were the viewer. It is especially interesting when the topic of addiction comes up.
“What the Bleep !? – Down the Rabbit Hole” always stays close to the viewer and really tries to get them thinking without skipping important thinking steps. This broadens the select group of viewers who appreciated the first film to a large group of viewers. Many of them will be inspired after watching the movie and may also feel they want to be a better person. Spiritual or scientific talent is not necessarily necessary as a viewer, he or she can decide for himself how far “down the rabbit hole” he wants to go. But one must be a little open to the subject of self-development. A downside is that the documentary continues for too long, two hours would have been more than enough. It is also a pity that human influence is based on the individual and not on the basis of society (interference patterns are only discussed briefly). But the well-placed humor (of the interviewees) and cool animations in and around the difficult material has given “What the Bleep!? – Down the Rabbit Hole” (2006) a unique charm and a special place in film history.