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Maxwell’s Movie Review: Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas
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  • Carly

    No matter your feelings on the film the usage of yellowface, blackface, what have you, is racist and it's ignorant to believe otherwise. It's fine if that doesn't deter from your enjoyment of the film but don't discredit those who feel offended by the very obvious offensiveness.

    • MaxwellZupke

      Hi Carly,
      Thank you for your comment. I assure you my opinions are just that – not facts that I expect everyone to believe or representative of any other TYF staff members. I think you'll agree that there must be context for every incident and occasion. A rose is not so beautiful on the lapel of a murderer, and a weed in the hands of a child can be breathtakingly beautiful. Let's take a look at some questions that I think will strike beyond the surface of accusations of racism.
      – Why is yellowfacing, blackfacing, whitefacing, etc. considered racist?
      It implies that Asian, black, etc. individuals are not talented or good enough as actors or human beings to perform in whatever movie you're talking about – obviously a terrible thing. They've also gained notoriety for making fun of offensive and crass stereotypes for cheap comedy.
      – Why was this done then?
      To show the interconnectivity of souls in the story – NOT because of the prejudices of the directors. You'll note the cast is fairly diverse, as are the characters. This is not, whatever it is, a cut-and-dry case of "the directors didn't want to hire an Asian." I hope we can all agree on that.
      – What's the message (HOW was this done?)
      As I mention in my review, the film (I don't know whether or not you've seen it yet, of course) advocates against racism, homophobia, class distinctions, etc. Indeed, it's a key component to the film – the Jim Sturgess storyline is about tolerance and the abolishment of slavery. Any R-rated movie can be deemed immoral if you read its description, as can any movie with the aforementioned racial prosthetic devices, but we need to look at the context and HOW it uses these unfortunate devices. In this case, it's to enhance the themes and story. Whether it's effective in doing so depends on your opinion of the film's merits much more than its morals.
      – Was it necessary to use these devices?
      This one's highly debatable. I'm going to say it was not strictly necessary, but it provides so much greater depth and analysis regarding specific souls and their journeys.
      I surely didn't seek to offend you, and I thank you for your comment. I think it's easy in today's Internet hate-driven society to cry out 'evil' and 'racism' at entertainment, politics, and strangers. While there's lots of it out there and lots that needs to change, I don't think this particular movie was motivated by ignorance, nor did it seek to offend anyone (quite the opposite, which is what I meant to reflect in my review). I hope we can look logically at this issue and the films' merits and morals to stifle racism in film as an educated and rational cinemagoing community.

    • Garrett

      I think your confused as to what the terms "blackface" and "yellowface" actually mean. Blackface is a specific type of makeup that is intended to exaggerate and mock African features. There is no blackface in this movie. Furthermore, its ridiculous to claim the movie is racist. The cast is plenty diverse, and if you noticed, all the actors, regardless of race, took a turn portraying a race different from their own. The movie, in fact, attempts to transcend race, suggesting that the immortal human soul is race-less and gender-less. Many races were represented in this movie and they were all treated with respect. I respect your right to be offended, though I think if you examine your opinion a little more closely, then your offense is best saved for something more worthy.

      • MaxwellZupke

        I agree entirely. This movie is 'racist' only if you've been told a new movie called Cloud Atlas is being released and includes "yellowface" and other actors playing different roles. Even the trailer or a one-line synopsis makes it quite clear it's an attempt to destroy racism.