Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
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…
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…
It speaks volumes of a filmmaker when they can fluently negotiate, perhaps perfect, multitudinous genres during their careers. What speaks even louder and distinctive volumes is that adept versatility showcased in and confined to a singular film, which navigates genres in such a fluid manner that the coalition of possibly conflicting styles is in fact flawless. Cloud Atlas is one such phenomenal film for the Wachowski's and Tom Tykwer, and what they orchestrate beneath the 172 minute smokescreen is unparalleled, exceedingly audacious and possibly, in due time whilst the film ferments, a revered classic in cinema.
Historic and futuristic; comedic and mightily dramatic; thrilling and introspective, Cloud Atlas traverses an abundance of eras, harnessing the theory that each choice we…
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?…
(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…
A film rarely surpasses the novel upon which it is based, but Cloud Atlas is an exception. And although the length could have been shortened by tighter editing, it is still worth the 172 minutes watch. The story of Robert Frobisher and Rufus Sixsmith is without doubt the most intriguing, the whole three hours could have just been those two and I wouldn't have minded. Cloud Atlas was also my introduction to Ben Whishaw.
It's very difficult to sum up my thoughts on this...
On the one hand it's totally unique, bizarre, brave, bold and ambitious. Lord knows we don't get the chance to see enough films like this these days.
On the other hand it's a grotesque, over blown, pretentious, portentous mess.
It's 6 stories, intercut with each other (rather than the Russian doll structure of the book) with actors buried under heaps of prosthetic make up doubling up rolls across the different timeframes. Similar to the book the problem with the film is depending on who you are you'll be more interested in certain stories and fairly underwhelmed by others.
The decision to intercut between time frames is as brilliant as it…
Cloud Atlas remains my all-time favourite book, despite the fact I disliked roughly a third of it, as a whole it made such an impact on me that it stays firmly in that "#1 book" spot for me.
So naturally, when I heard it was being made into an adaptation, I was incredibly nervous. What if they ruined it and I could only ever look at my copy of the book and sigh, knowing what could have been? Luckily for me, the Wachowski's came through and made an adaptation fitting of the book, and then some. They took the main element of the book (reincarnation) and wove it into the backbone of the film, creating a breathtaking, three hour spectacle that left me crying for at least twenty minutes when it finally came to the end.
Not only is this film worthy of the source material, it's worthy of every five-star review that people care to give it. Highly recommended.
Intuitive, insightful, revolutionary, unforgettable.
Cloud Atlas keeps you on your toes. You really cannot not pay attention to every little thing that happens? You miss some dialogue and you can miss something so incredibly paramount to the whole point of the film. If you dont make the effort to understand it, you wont. But if you do try, I promise you that things will make sense. And it is when you fit all the pieces together that you start seeing the world differently.
The special effects are grand, the cinematography absolutely breathtaking, the makeup job fucking unbelievable…
It’s so incredibly deep but the dialogue is believable/realistic and its not a poetry vomit. It just flows beautifully bc they know how…
A truly ambitious film that manages to be entertaining. Masterfully edited together Cloud Atlas' narrative is one that exams stories and how they are told. Exploring the connections we all share it manages to be uplifting and hopeful, even in the face of the dark nature of humanity.
The film is a mix of the fantastical and the mundane that gives it a wide visual scope. Futuristic cityscapes share the screen with stately homes. Granted not all of the different stories rely on grand visual statements, but the film's ability to build each world is quite impressive.
With each new story comes another tone. Most have a dark slant, but one is a light hearted tale that is much needed.…
from the people who give use the matrix comes. Okay this is going to be a short review of this movie so let's go. The story is very hard to follow and the acting is good to.
Under rated masterpiece.
"What is an ocean, but a multitude of drops?"
This is a wholly original, ambitious, and flawed piece of filmmaking. This is my second time watching it, and I can only see it getting better and better with further viewings. This is a film that will probably be regarded as a classic in the future.
P.S. While the film may be flawed, the musical score is utter perfection.
A film that is one of the defining examples of an experience, Cloud Atlas is an ambitious and heartfelt piece of cinema. Yes, flaws are present throughout, but none of them really matter in comparison to the epic vision on display.
A must see.
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
- Eyes Wide Shut
- Speed Racer
- Marie Antoinette
- Spring Breakers
Peeping Tom, Night of the Hunter and a whole host of older films were ignored or given bad reviews upon…
- The Red Shoes
- Synecdoche, New York
- Time of the Gypsies
- Speed Racer
- La Jetée
Apologies for the rather clumsy and drab title, I was going to call it Pure Cinema but that isn't quite…