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'Cloud Atlas' Review - A Gorgeous Mess - Forbes

Stashed in: Inception!, LOST!, Cloud Atlas, @tomhanks

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The sci-fi fable might have been better served as a mini-series, or even as a full-blown television series, giving it the elbow room it deserved to explore each story line and each character throughout its time-spanning narrative.


That's fair criticism. I could see it being a mini-series on HBO. I do think that would have taken away something by adding to it.

How would it have taken away something by adding to it?

A parallel; the movie Prestige, which I find absolutely astounding; in the end both Angiers and Borden explain to each other their secrets. In the movie, Inception, the ending is not explained.

Explaining the magic trick to people does not make them enjoy it more; in fact, even according to the Prestige itself, it takes away from the enjoyment.

"They want to be fooled."

Alfred Borden: Never show anyone. They'll beg you and they'll flatter you for the secret, but as soon as you give it up... you'll be nothing to them.

Makes sense. You don't have to answer every question. Leave more to imagination.

(That was one of the central themes of the TV show LOST.)

Btw, who IS the green guy in story six shown above? Tom Hanks' conscience?

Old Georgie. He's the devil.

Is he real or a hallucination?

Listening to him saves Tom Hanks' life but then at some point he stops listening. Why?


Well, there's this if you want the book's Point of View.

Geege, there is no way to spoil Cloud Atlas. Too many moving parts!

Doona Bae, James D’Arcy, and Jim Sturgess from Cloud Atlas, 2012

No worries, Adam. Can't wait to see it. :-)

The movie > the book. This is the second time I've seen that done. The first was "The Prestige."

Walking Dead is better than the graphic novels.

Game of Thrones is better than the books. :)

And Moneyball was definitely better as a movie.

So is Georgie real or a hallucination?

Behold your future, Cavendish the Younger. You will not apply for membership, but the tribe of the elderly will claim you. Your present will not keep pace with the world’s. This slippage will stretch your skin, sag your skeleton, erode your hair and ,memory, make your skin turn opaque so your twitching organs and blue-cheese veins will be semivisible. You will venture out only in daylight, avoiding weekends and school holidays. Language, too, will leave you behind, betraying your tribal affiliations whenever you speak. On escalators, on trunk roads, in supermarket aisles, the living will overtake you, incessantly. Elegant women will not see you. Store detectives will not see you. Salespeople will not see you, unless they sell stair lifts or fraudulent insurance policies. Only babies, cats, and drug addicts will acknowledge your existence. So do not fritter away your days. Sooner than you fear, you will stand before a mirror in a care home, look at your body, and think, E.T., locked in a ruddy cupboard for a fortnight. ~Timothy Cavendish

Hat tip to David Mitchell, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Cavendish

Jim Sturgess Doona Bae Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas Hae-Joo Chang Sonmi-451

Cloud Atlas green screen

More Cloud Atlas Memes, please.

 Old Georgie is the devil. Its the title of the song "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" processed through hundreds of years of language changing and society losing touch with the original meaning of pop culture references since the apocalypse.

Thanks! So is he really there, or a hallucination?

I ask because once Tom Hanks stops listening to him, he disappears.

Whoa. Thanks Vicki! Amazing. 

 He is a hallucination, but also an important figure within the story. He is a link to the first story (Pacific Journal...) in a few ways, allowing the Cloud Atlas to come full-circle. In the book, Adam Edwing also suffers hallucinations he cannot explain, and its unclear whether he is is looking into the past or future, but I'm going to say future, because in a way its like Zachary is looking into the past, and the past is presented as an ancient evil (Old Georgie) because to Zachary the past IS evil (the Fall). It would also explain Old Georgie's outfit which fits Edwing's time-period. Once Zachary breaks the pattern of behavior exhibited throughout each story, Old Georgie fades away.      

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