Thursday, February 25, 2016

William Myrl; Letter to No One (41)

Dear No One,
There was a movie on SYFY called Cloud Atlas. I know I am a few years behind, but you are going to have to live with it. The premise of the movie is simple, trace a love affair through multiple incarnations in time. Its the sort of thing that looks good on paper. They used the same actors in all seven or so incarnations, playing different parts, and the makeup required bordered on the comical. The worst job was when they turned an Asian girl into a Caucasian redhead. They shoved her face first into the uncanny valley and left her to die. Poor thing. I cringed. Most of the rest was the sort of transformation you could expect to see on SYFY's original series Face Off. I can only imagine how much money was lost on this film. Those people who were responsible for the Matrix put it all together. The siblings.
The theme of the film was naturally love's transcendence over all, including time and space. The appeal of reincarnation has always been lost on me. If the only real connection between your lives is the author's insistence on their connection, there isn't much there. Yes, all the stories were love stories, but most stories are. It doesn't become more meaningful because you arbitrarily declare that a given set of stories is all about the same souls wandering through lifecycles. The stories themselves are left unchanged. The continuity of self exists in memory, both our own and those of others, as well as the record of reality, which is usually ignored.
These characters don't know they are connected, nor do the characters around them. In reality, there is no record of their connection. But for the sake of the movie the audience is asked to play the part of outsider memory. We are told these are the same people in different bodies, and we carry the burden of their shared existence from one iteration to the next. 
Perhaps my least favorite part of any movie is when the writers begin pretending to be wise. No speech was ever profound that contained the phrase "from womb to tomb", you do not get points for being as clever as a bumper sticker. This screenplay insisted on repeating a few bits of nice sounding nonsense about love and the interconnected nature of life in a tone of voice that we are supposed to interpret as being wise. It was decidedly disappointing.
At one point, Tom Hanks and Halley Berry are post apocalyptic cow pokes speaking in a broken patois reminiscent of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I don't know why I torture myself.
Have you seen anything good lately? I did enjoy the recent movie about the lady who got Dan Rather fired by successfully exposing president Bush as being AWOL during his service as a pretend pilot for the national guard. 
William Myrl

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