Everything is Connected
A set of six nested stories spanning time between the 19th century and a distant post-apocalyptic future. 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 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. Based on the award winning novel by David Mitchell. Directed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis.
"What is an ocean, but a multitude of drops?" - Adam Ewing
I think the only sensible way to review this film is by each of it's inter-twining stories. In chronological order, of course:
Time and setting: South Pacific Ocean, 1849
Genre: Sea-faring adventure/period drama
Protagonist: Adam Ewing (Jim Sturgess)
Well, I suppose a good place to start is the worst place to start, because things can only get better. Although the events of this section are meant to be small and cramped to show the gravity of the events that are to follow, this doesn't seem to gel with the rest of the story. The other stories have a bigger scope, while nothing much happens in this…
Having read the book only after seeing the trailer a few months ago, I was never in the camp that thought the book should/could never be turned into a film. I read the book with an almost insurmountable amount of hype behind it, but it met those expectations handily. The film has been hyped even more than the book, with good reason! The book is epic and dramatic, spanning vast amounts of time and space. Even though it has one of the most interesting and impressive narrative structures of all time, the narrative is secondary in importance to the themes holding the disparate characters and circumstances together. How do you turn such a book into a movie without failing miserably?…
David Mitchell’s novel is one of the most impressive novels I have ever read. It is an exercise in style, an exploration of the nature of humanity and a narrative of hope, an appreciation of art and a glimmer of redemption for a self-destructive race. That is what I got out of it, but the book is so complex that multiple interpretations are possible and there is always the chance that people will not take anything from it at all. That’s the nature of any form of art. Where the film fails to be a successful adaption of the novel on that deeper level for me, it more than succeeds in distilling a common thread from it, structuring the complex…
(Forward: I've been planning this review for a very long time now. I was very excited when the film came in the mail today.)
If a film is good, I'll usually think about it for a day or two before moving on. If it's great, I'l think about it for weeks. But to think about a film almost every day for nearly six months after I've first seen it? That takes a miracle.
And Cloud Atlas is that miracle.
Now, since I believe that the Academy should be subject to criminal abuse for disregarding Cloud Atlas, I shall now list every Oscar category that the film was eligible for and give reasons why it should have been a frontrunner at…
The Wachowski siblings have always been ambitious filmmakers even if they have overreached themselves on more than a few occasions. Cloud Atlas is undoubtedly their most ambitious project to date both thematically and logistically. Three directors, six interweaving stories and a big budget independent production dealing with existential questions: At worst it is career suicide, at best filmmakers’ folly.
Although David Mitchell’s original novel deals with the concept of storytelling it never seemed a natural fit for the silver screen. It is simply too dense and sprawling to be considered commercially viable. Therefore it took filmmakers with the vision and financial clout to bring this adaptation into the world. For all its faults, and it does have many, it is…
Cloud Atlas is a mess. That's the short truth of it. But what a big beautiful mess it is. As many flaws as there are in this film, I couldn't help but get wrapped up in how gorgeously unique this film was. Sitting there in a dark theater with a couple of friends and a small crowd, I just got enraptured by the whole thing. "How does this film even exist?" I thought to myself multiple times during the course of the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer's 3 hour epic.
I guess that's my biggest praise I can heap onto the film. I really have never seen a film like this in my life. While these stories aren't very original at…
Aún me cuesta creer que esta película exista. El mensaje es lo peor, pero el resto es buenísimo.
What starts as a confusing collection of varied stories melds into one of the most resonant and poignant cinematic experience I've seen in years. It's sprawling and ambitious and when it seems like it might spin out of control into the realm of pretension, it lands the landing beautifully.
It is not often that one sees a movie which will catch you by your throat and demands your attention. Clearly not a movie for everyone because you need to pay attention to understand how the 6 different stories are interwoven with each other.
But what a joy once you invest your attention, this will require a re-watch soon!
Adapted from the acclaimed novel by David Mitchell, short-listed for the Booker Prize and Arthur C. Clarke awards in 2004, 'Cloud Atlas' was never going to be for everyone, and I knew going in that it likely wouldn't be for me. But with open mind and open heart I embraced its cod-profound, wishy-washy story, trying hard not to claw out my eyes from the blundering, schematic dullness of it all. Neither mind nor heart were rewarded; the former baffled and the latter cold, I sat in awe of the film's staggering clumsiness.
The book has been called unfilmable, and it remains so. Across six countries and five centuries the story unfurls a tale of how lives can become mirrors across…
This is a film I could write endlessly about, but I feel me trying to unpack what's going on wouldn't do any justice to how good it actually is.
Un'opera fuori dagli schemi; poderosa nei temi (destino, reincarnazione, libertà), straripante nella sua essenza musicale.
I don't want to give this one a rating. It has its flaws, yes, but what do they matter in the face of such an innovative vision of what storytelling can be? This film tells half a dozen stories all at once, of wildly different settings, and does so with lots of panache and daring. We're not swamped with films that take on that challenge, that we could gain anything by being stern about a few Hollywood foibles. I find this film endlessly fascinating, and I'm very grateful it was made.
Cloud Atlas is an ambitious, epic movie. I'm impressed by the scope of what the Wachowskis and Tykwer were able to achieve.
When I saw the first five-minute trailer, I was struck by how skillfully it avoided giving too much away despite its unusual length. I picked up the book and attempted to finish it before seeing the movie, but found the material difficult to engage. Despite that, my desire to see the movie was undiminished and I hoped it would reinvigorate me to attempt the book at a later date.
The movie does require significantly more engagement from an audience than most movies, pleasantly so. The design and makeup are astonishing, the interleaved stories all engaging, and the scope…
It was way back in 1999 ‘The Matrix’ hit the screen, directed by the Wachowskis when they were still ‘brothers’. The Matrix blew me away when I saw it and it still does. The movie just questions your whole existence, it really made you ask yourself: “Are we really living in a Matrix?”. Even last week I read an article on IGN that scientists were still researching on the topic. The Matrix sets a milestone for CG in movies too, especially the revolutionary Bullet-time which had been used and over-used ever since. It was something you’d never seen in movies before and I still find The Matrix a technical marvel. The Wachowskis went off the grid for a while and…