Warning: This article contains spoilers for the movie Cloud Atlas.
Anyway, at the end of the movie the final scene shows Tom Hanks' character from the post-apocalyptic storyline sitting round the campfire apparently telling his grand-kids the stories we have just watched. The kids obviously enjoy his tales as they excitedly plead with him, "Tell us more, grandappy! Tell us more!"
At first I thought to myself, ‘Ar, that’s nice,’ but then later on the thought occurred to me, ‘Hang on a second! I’m not sure that’s a realistic response for a kid to have after just being told the stories from Cloud Atlas.’
Just to give an example, the second story involves an aspiring composer who's happy to sleep with just about everyone in order to further his career. He then gets blackmailed by his boss and so he shoots his boss, then goes into hiding for a couple of weeks and then finally he commits suicide by putting a gun in his mouth and shooting himself through the back of the head. Is that the sort of story which would have kids responding, ‘Wow! What a great story! Tell us more!’?
The other five stories aren’t much better. Presumably Tom Hanks’ next tale must have went something along the lines of ‘Once upon a time there was a nice man who went to sea and then an evil doctor tried to murder him by giving him an overdose of drugs so that he could steal his gold…’
|A marauding barbarian, pictured yesterday.|
“Gosh! Grandpappy, tell us more! Tell us another of your blatantly inappropriate and too violent for kids stories which we’re allegedly really excited to hear!’ responded the kids.
Hmm… Whichever way I looked at it, I couldn’t help feeling a little bit sceptical that kids would respond in such a wide-eyed excited manner. Surely stories like that would have kids curled in a ball crying their eyes out with fear. Surely that would be a more accurate portrayal of a realistic response by a kid on hearing such traumatic stories.
So for a brief period I was sort of a bit disappointed with the lack of realism of the ending. However, it quickly occurred to me that in actual fact the ending was more realistic than I realised. When you consider the fairy tales that we tell kids nowadays, the scary tales which Tom Hanks tells his grandkids aren’t really that much different.
Let’s start with Little Red Riding Hood…
“Once upon a time this little girl walked through a scary forest to her grandmother’s house but unfortunately when she got there she discovered that a wolf had eaten her grandmother…”
|"Grandma, what big teeth you have! Ar, hang on. That's not grandma.|
It's a wolf! I'm always getting those two muddled up."
Or what about The Three Little Pigs…
“Once upon a time there was this evil wolf who destroyed someone’s home so that he could try to eat him…”
Goldilocks And The Three Bears isn’t much better…
“Once upon a time there was this girl who just decided to randomly go into a stranger’s house and start helping herself to the food…”
Anyway, perhaps if anyone comes up with any more fairy tales to tell kids in future then they may want to consider making their stories a little bit more PG rated.
. . . . . . . .
Follow Charles Fudgemuffin on facebook and twitter: