It is difficult to find anyone who has read David Mitchell’s novel and does not talk in language that falls off the edge of admiration into a whirlpool of superlatives.
It may be harder to find someone who sat through almost three hours of its cinematic adaptation who understood a thing, or cared less.
At a pinch it is possible to admire the film’s audacity – three directors , multiple roles for supporting actors, a time shift from pre-history to post-history, a disregard of logic in favour of anarchic storytelling – and yet beg for mercy in the face of what appears to be six separate, disconnected scenarios masquerading as one.
It takes a while to recognise Forrest Gump, speaking faux cave and dressed like Ben Gunn.
It is easier to appreciate Storm in futuristic sci-fi fashion, or Jim Broadbent in an old people’s home that resembles a POW camp.
How these people coexist is a mystery not worth solving.
At a time when money is tight and Hollywood appears to concentrate solely on sequels, franchises, CGI extravaganzas and embarrassing sex comedies, who on earth put up the cash to finance such a pile of pretentious twaddle?