“Our lives are not
our own. From womb to tomb we are bound to others. Past and present. And by
each crime and every kindness we birth our future.”
Cloud Atlas at last! This is a film worthy, not just for Oscar nominations but awards as well. Although not everyone may appreciate it, I’m sure every moviegoer would like to know what the film is all about. And to those complaining how movies these days lack imagination and creativity here’s why you should give this movie a try. Action, romance (even bromance), comedy, sci-fi, adventure all rolled into one!
David Mitchell’s novel, which bears the same title as the film’s, was finally brought to life by the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix) and Tykwer (Run Lola Run). The book which was thought to be unfilmable turned out to be an over-the-top motion picture.
As the film revolves in six different epochs, the film ambitiously tried to depict what each era would like to show. From costume, makeup, prosthetics and backdrops, I would say the movie went overboard and accomplished what they would like to convey.
We’ve all seen movies that involve the past, present and future and even reincarnations, but we’ve not seen a movie that involves six different eras and so twisted a plot until Cloud Atlas. The movie begins with the voyage of a certain lawyer named Ewing (Jim Sturgess) on the Pacific on the 1800s where he writes a journal about his adventures. In the 1930s, this journal was read by Frobisher (Ben Wishaw), a homosexual composer who sends letters to his lover. These letters are read in the 1970s, as his lover becomes a nuclear scientist with a deep and deadly secret and so on and so forth. The movie basically establishes that everyone is connected in one way or the other.
Although the film is divided into different parts, unlike the book (where one story is finished before going to the next), the editing of the film was effective but in some way disorienting. It was baffling in a way that you had to take time to think what era you are on and what’s going on in the scene if it were not for the narrations-which seemed too much for me. They could’ve lessened the narrations and focused on building the scenes more efficiently.
One more thing I noticed is that they showed how everyone was connected and quite focused on that aspect on the whole film that it fell short in bringing and prolonging the thrill and suspense.
The cast, which includes Tom Hanks, Jim Broadbent, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, and Ben Wishaw, had to play multiple roles in the film. What makes it more intriguing is that the actors played their characters well and was covered with loads of makeup that you don’t realize that it’s them until the credits are shown in the end. You would either get surprised or frustrated that you didn’t notice them in the film. The movie also presents inspiring characters such as Tom Hank’s who, from a greedy killer, turned into a selfless hero as the story evolves. As to the visual effects, knowing the Wachowski’s, it definitely displayed bravura.
Cloud Atlas is a film that presents how the past, present and future is wonderfully weaved. A film that explores the possibility of life and love, shared in different eras with people from different walks of life- breaking the boundaries of time and space.
I’ll give the film an 8.5 out of 10.