- Starring: Tom Hanks (The Da Vinci Code), Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball), Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge) and more.
- Directed by: Andy Wachowski & Lana Wachowski (The Matrix) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run)
- Synopsis: “From acclaimed filmmakers Lana Wachowskie, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski, the powerful and inspiring epic drama “CLOUD ATLAS” explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave dramatically through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future.” (-Official site)
- Rated: Rated R for violence, nudity, language, sexual situations, and brief drug reference.
- Director’s Introduction:
After watching the above introduction from the 3 directors of this epic, now enjoy the 5+ minute trailer followed by my thoughts on the multi-faceted film, Cloud Atlas.
Here is the extended trailer:
The Wachowski siblings, along with director Tom Tykwer, bring an adaptation of author David Mitchell’s 2004 novel Cloud Atlas to audiences around the world. This story with a universal message places emphasis on varying subjects and themes of humanity and the unifying connections that we make.
A pioneering look that seeks to erase the boundaries of time, gender, race and creed.
Movie lovers will find themselves either absolutely enthralled by the beauty of the film, its message, its uniqueness and blend or they will find themselves absolutely appalled by the seemingly randomness and back-and-forth storytelling that can at times be confusing, along with the varying costumes/makeup and artsy cinematography.
The film is, by far, bold. And I can appreciate that. If you can make it through the rather confusing and stage-setting first 45 mins or so, then the remaining 130 minutes won’t be so bad. The Wachowskis’ attempt at blowing the minds of moviegoers once again with something not seen before (such as The Matrix) is successful as, not only do we follow six different interweaving storylines in six completely different timelines that, when compiled together, are truly part of 1 mega story, but we also see over 12 different actors play varying parts in those different timelines. Truly unique and showing off the acting abilities of the actors involved, the technique tends to take away from the film as well as I sat there throughout the movie, at times, trying to figure out if that person was Halle Berry as a man or Hugo Weaving as a brutish looking woman or Jim Sturgess as a future Korean fugitive.
(My advice: on the first time watching, put aside trying to figure out who’s who and just enjoy the performances and the story. Worry about that on your second viewing as the film will leave you possibly wanting to see it another time to have better clarity overall. It can be hard follow from time to time.)
“Bold and Beautiful” is definitely how I would describe Cloud Atlas. Polarizing, political, and philosophical is another way too. I was impressive with the unique storytelling, although a bit unconventional it is also untraditional which makes it both refreshing and original. The connectivity of the characters, their actions, and their ideas/desires seeks to bring a message to the audience that each person and their own actions/ideas/desires are both important and impactful, regardless of race, gender, etc.
Though confusing at times (along with a confusing semi-English language used in a dystopian future) and while it does go a bit long with some parts that may be a bit unexpected, Cloud Atlas also carries with it some unexpected humor, personal connections, and beauty that combines story with self-actualization allowing there to be something in this film for everyone to relate to.
Filled with joy and love, laughter, sadness, fear, compassion, excitement, smiles and tears, I left the theater astonished yet confounded, amused yet contemplative, amazed yet challenged. I will be watching it again, and encourage you to check it out too.
Kudos to the soundtrack. I love the Cloud Atlas sextet (click HERE to listen to it):
Cloud Atlas, a bold and beautiful film that crosses boundaries and challenges both the mind and the soul of its audiences on an engrossing grandiose scale. It reaches out to touch all with a message of human likeness, dependability, and love in a way never done before. Enjoy, if you will, as I know this one will continue to be polarizing among audiences.
Score: 4 out of 5 stars for Cloud Atlas
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer