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whole film/book is consciously trying to reference other films/books in a very self-conscious postmodern (though still outdated) kind of a way.