06 November 2012

Cloud Atlas

A whole pack of Halle Berrys!

Overall, I liked it. It's weird and mind-bendy and doesn't entirely make sense, but it's certainly entertaining to watch. I will say this - the Matrix-y parts are way too Matrix-y. Come on guys. The Matrix was awesome. Move on. There is a scene in this movie where you're just waiting for a dude to pull out a red pill and a blue pill. Oh, you don't want to be the chosen one? Would a little factory farming of bodies change your mind? It's weird and gross and honestly, kind of offensive. If you think about it too hard, you might notice that the movie kind of equates genocide with stealing someone's symphony. So it's better not to think about it. In fact, it's better not to think about most of the movie too hard, because it doesn't entirely stack up, or maybe it does, but I can't be bothered. I'm sure plenty of academics will be dissecting it for years to come.

Overall, the plot is pretty interesting, though it takes a turn for the grinding sap factor (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE) towards the end. One problem I had with the movie was that there were large chunks where I could barely understand what people were saying to each other, but honestly, even that didn't bother me too much.

Of course, the most entertaining thing about the film is the actors playing multiple roles, sometimes as people of different (or ambiguous) race. Apparently plenty of people on the internet find this wildly offensive, and personally, I think they've got it exactly wrong. I think it's an interesting, avant-garde sort of move. I don't think it's meant to bleep out histories of racial tensions. Does the movie ignore some nuances of race, sure, but it's 6 interconnected stories that already span 3 hours of time - it's just not a nuanced movie. I didn't find it offensive to see people of color playing white people, so why should it be offensive to also have some white people play people of color (or, perhaps, people who live in a futuristic society where race is actually physically different?)?

Anyways. Worth watching. It is not the jaw-dropping, revelatory, mind-bending movie that plenty of people want it to be (so few movies are...), but it's certainly creative and entertaining, and at this point, that's pretty darn good as far as I'm concerned.

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