Movie Review: Cloud Atlas
4.5 out of 5
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 12:10
One of the year’s most epic creations, “Cloud Atlas” proves to be epitome of a spectacular movie—offering dazzling visuals and emotional depth that is entirely capable of changing cinema. It discusses the theme of reincarnation, as well as the idea of basic human connection—that every thought we think, every action we take and every life we live is essentially intertwined.
"Cloud Atlas" succeeds in giving off cinematic splendor. The movie was directed by the Wachowski Brothers, the famous directing duo behind "V for Vendetta" and "The Matrix" and Tom Tywker. The futuristic scenes in "Cloud Atlas" really represent their unique style and effective use of bullet time, a visual effect that slows down time to allow for viewers to see special sequences that normally happen too quickly to see.
Nearly three hours long, “Cloud Atlas” intricately weaves six stories into one masterpiece—developing a wide array of characters along the way. Based on a novel by David Mitchell, it contains an overwhelming plot—starting from a story set in the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic society.
Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and Jim Sturgess are just a few of the actors in the movie who each play about five different characters. In between the six stories, the characters cross paths, and through their various lives, they are all somehow related.
Lines between genders and races are broken and the actors play men, women and a variety of ethnicities. Jim Sturgess personifies a white lawyer in the late 1880s as well as an Asian man in 2144. Hugo Weaving plays an Asian character in the same dystopian Korea, a hit-man in the 1970s, as well as a woman in 2012.
Though the makeup and cosmetic disguise seem far from realistic at times, the main point is to understand how the objectives and characteristics of the characters remain the same, unaffected by the number of times they are reincarnated. The philosophical, social and political themes of the story are channeled through brilliant quotes and one-liners, delivered with an uplifting musical score.
As the plot thickens and more characters are developed, the story becomes increasingly violent and perplexing. The movie’s linear plot and constant flickering from story to story is bound to cause frowning and confusion. Furthermore, in the post-apocalyptic storyline, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry mumble a version of English that is virtually incomprehensible to the average movie-goer.
These small things are just a few minor annoyances, but the general feel of the movie gives off a sense of wonder and for some, it may offer an ultimate explanation of existence. The serious concept of the film is balanced by comedic effect from a couple of the stories.
And as any good movie should, this one ties all the stories together at the end, filling in the loopholes and unclear points that we come across earlier in the film.