CC Issue 36 / Film / TV

Cloud Atlas: or, the Rebirth of Keanu Reeves


Since I used up the extra hour I would have spent writing this blog watching the third hour of Cloud Atlas, I am now reduced to presenting my thoughts on the film in bullet point form.

• Tom Hanks as the ancient master storyteller, weaving the threads of the various narratives together into one intricate tapestry. Okay, fine. But can’t you at least get him a decent makeup artist?

His forehead looks more frozen by Botox than Nicole Kidman’s.

• Ben Whishaw as a homosexual musician-composer restricted by the social conventions of his time.

Yes, suitably effete.

• Jim Sturgess in a near reprisal of his dewy-eyed earnestness in One Day, though this time as a lawyer unwittingly betrayed by his doctor. Too bad his Korean character looks so much like Neo.

Really, the Wachowskis, can’t you think of something new?

• The delightfully versatile Jim Broadbent as a greedy aging publisher, a nearly senile composer, and a hard-as-nails ship’s captain.


• Human clones forced into sex slavery and then recycled for their body parts.

Sounds like Margaret Atwoodlight.

• A future in which those left behind by a money and technology-driven society are reduced to scavenging forest dwellers seems realistic enough.

But why would they revert to speaking in an absurdly butchered version of Middle English?

• Underlying theme of meaning in every story,* regardless of religion, race, philosophy etc: come on, metanarrative is so mid-2000s.

Postmodernism is over.

*Of course it’s possible the whole film/book is consciously trying to reference other films/books in a very self-conscious postmodern (though still outdated) kind of a way.

In which case they have successfully referenced Star Trek, Alice in
Wonderland, the Matrix, Brave New World. Any others you can think of to add to the mishmash?

One thought on “Cloud Atlas: or, the Rebirth of Keanu Reeves

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