Cloud Atlas (film)

           I took the pleasure of watching Cloud Atlas last afternoon. Note that I have not read the book that the movie is based on.
           I think I can safely describe this film as epic. Not in the sense that it is action-packed with explosion from beginning to end, but in the sense that it spans centuries and light-years, that it contains six distinct stories with unique characters in their own timelines, that it brims with motifs, ideas, and themes, and that it lasts close to three hours long. An immense movie in size and scope.
          What I particularly like in Cloud Atlas is how it weaves six different stories together without losing the audience, namely me. The movie stays in each timeline just long enough to develop its plot, and then immediately jumps to the next. The bites of moment we see are very concise and revealing. The result is that a story is never left alone long enough to be forgotten. There isn’t an imbalance of exposition either. But yet such jumping around doesn’t feel fractured, because the individual stories are linked by their characters, or rather, their souls, and by the various reoccurring themes and ideas that are demonstrated by these stories. The amazing thing is, each of these timelines have stories and characters fertile enough to support a movie or novel of its own.
           Let’s talk about the acting: great, which is a bigger praise than usual as in this movie every actor plays multiple characters for each timeline. And they all do it admirably. I have always liked Tom Hanks, and his performance is no exception here. Once again, funny enough, Hugo Weaving is always playing the bad guy (and in this case, nurse) in some way. As for eye-candy? Some scenic shots here and there, but mostly concentrated in the Neo-Seoul and post apocalyptic Earth era.
           I have nothing against or for the ideas that Cloud Atlas are presenting, but it can feel repetitive like a hammer to nail as these stories are constantly reinforcing its ideas. Just a warning, if you haven’t seen the movie and want to, I’d advise against watching any of its trailers, particularly the extended ones. I have watched one trailer before the movie, and the trailer essentially gave away much of the tensions and themes of the movie.
           Is Cloud Atlas a masterpiece? Maybe, but I wouldn’t dare say so. It is a magnificent watch regardless, well worth the price of the ticket.

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Published in: on October 31, 2012 at 4:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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