Well, well well well. There are certain times, on our journey through life, where we need to pause and take stock, to just take a moment and ask ourselves, "Wait, am I living in a world where Tom Hiddleston, the celebrated British actor - that Tom Hiddleston - has decided to star in a creepy POV ad to sell multivitamin tablets in China?" And unfortunately, if you'd like to direct your attention several centimeters down to the video player immediately beneath this paragraph, you will see that the short answer to this question is, distressingly, 'Yes'.
You may need to take a minute having watched that. If you feel the need to go lie down in a dark room, please, please do not be ashamed; go, lie. If you need to briefly excuse yourself to source tissues, or some other absorbent form of towelette to dab the sweat from your brow and the residual vomit from your lips, then please, do so. Do what you need to do to get over this profoundly nauseating ad, that forces us to confront a whole host of uncomfortable questions.
Firstly, and most pressingly, "Why has Tom Hiddleston decided to star in a creepy POV ad to sell multivitamins in China?" Well, the most obvious answer must simply be, he was given lots of money. But perhaps we are too quickly ruling out the possibility that, the celebrated British actor, Tom Hiddleston, possesses a deep concern for the nutritional well-being of the majority of the Chinese nation.
China's economy has rapidly modernised over recent years and consequently that has brought about a massive expansion in the nation's middle-class. Is it so beyond the realms of possibility that Tom Hiddleston, the celebrated British actor, simply wants the members of this new middle-class to achieve a nutritionally balanced diet with the aid of supplements. I think it would be a poor reflection on us, and a damning regard of how we view Tom Hiddleston, if we are to so readily dismiss this possibility.
Secondly, you may also be thinking, "Having watched that bizarrely uncomfortable video, will my anus ever unclench?" Unfortunately, this is where I must again descend into mere anecdotal speculation. At the time of writing this sentence, some 17 minutes have elapsed since my first viewing of this ad and, as yet, there has been no let up on that front. I am still wracked with vicarious anxiety and tension from having endured such an over-whelmingly uncomfortable ad. It is not unreasonable to consider that things may remain this way, clenched, forever. Such a possibility cannot be discounted.
Now let us, for a minute, look at the ad more closely. At its essence, it is supposed to show the perspective of a woman - perhaps it is implied that this is the woman featured at the end of the ad, but this is again mere speculation - who is in some form of a relationship with Tom Hiddleston. The exact dynamics of the relationship are, at best, hazy, but it could be anything from a protracted series of one-night stands over the course of which they've grown somewhat close, all the way to them being in an awkward and relatively loveless marriage. Their relationship exists somewhere on the spectrum between these two poles.
When this woman wakes up and walks downstairs she is treated to the sight of Tom Hiddleston having made, what by anyone's reckoning, is a needlessly complex and wholly inappropriate array of foods for a breakfast. She enters the kitchen just as he, bedecked in a suit and surrounded by the dismembered remains of literally dozens of vegetables, slides an egg from a pan onto a nest of pulses, legumes, peppers and far more.
The vegetables are arranged in colour-consistent lines so uniform as to imply some deep psychological disturbance on the part of the creator. The care and attention that is put into this spread seems to suggest a more intimate and caring dynamic between the celebrated British actor Tom Hiddleston and this mystery woman. However this assumption is instantly rendered irrelevant when he suddenly asks whether she likes her "pepper on top?". We have just been treated to footage of his hands grinding a peppermill over the egg. He could simply have asked her before grinding it whether this was how she liked her pepper. She was in the room with him while that was happening. But no, that is alas, not how the celebrated British actor Tom Hiddleston rolls.
He then, while sitting directly across from her, seemingly tries to sell his partner on the virtues of multivitamins, despite the fact that he has just prepared her a breakfast containing more vegetables than most large land-based herbivores would consume in a week. If she makes so much as a dent in that, it's near guaranteed that she wouldn't develop scurvy for the next decade or so. Tom, having offered a multivitamin to his partner, adds "You look great", to allay any fear that his confusingly mute partner might've had that he was implying she looked tired, or worn out, or wan and pale, by this gesture.
Then comes the most confusing part of all. About 17 seconds into the ad, when we first see Tom Hiddleston, sliding an egg onto an entire green-grocer's stock of vegetables that he'd somehow crammed onto a single plate, he says that he'd "finished early, so I thought I'd pop by and make you breakfast". What he finished early remains unstated.
However, some 21 seconds later, having spent only enough time with this woman to try and sell her some multivitamin tablets, he announces, while swirling his coat onto his shoulders, that he has to go. And not only does he say he has to go, like out to work for the day or something reasonable, rather he announces that he "will probably be a bit busy for the next few weeks, but uh... I'll make it up to you soon I promise". We, the audience, know that this woman will never see Tom Hiddleston again. He is not coming back. He's done the classic, 'make 'em several kilogrammes of breakfast vegetables with an egg and then take off for good' maneuver. Tom Hiddleston, is gone.
It is also not outside the realms of possibility that this woman did not, and never did know, Tom Hiddleston. After all, she remains curiously mute throughout the entire video, seemingly meekly going along with whatever Tom Hiddleston says. It is entirely possible that Tom Hiddleston, broke into this mysterious person's house, cooked ALL of their vegetables at once, and then tried to sell them multivitamin tablets in Cantonese while they sat across the table from him, terrifiedly debating internally whether he might've spiked the food. Perhaps he is doing little more than breaking into houses across China, and insidiously preparing unreasonably large breakfasts before attempting to push pills on the house's inhabitants.
Why Tom? Why have you done this celebrated British actor Tom Hiddleston, what have we - oh it's unclenched.