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?…
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…
(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…
Never have I seen a film adaptation which fell quite so short of the book upon which it was based. It's not a bad movie, it's really not, but Cloud Atlas isn't one story, it's six, and each one deserving of its own feature. To compress them all even into this three-hour film one necessarily strips away so much of what made Cloud Atlas such an exceptional novel, one of my favorites. To tease us with an extended cut, too, yet to never actually release it - it's just unforgivable.
When it comes to the adaptation of literary sources, it always seems somewhat pointless to agonise over the changes made in translating them for the screen. The best adaptations are usually more faithful to the feel and aim of the source novel than to the niceties of specific plots and characters (which are necessarily truncated for a feature film). I have no time for complaints about this plot change or that omitted character. But with Cloud Atlas there is no way round the discussion: it is my contention that if you haven’t read the book you’d quickly be confused by the film and this, in large part, is a result of some of the decisions made when adapting the, admittedly…
A masterpiece of some sort.
One Tom Hanks is enough for me, thaNK YOU VERY MUCH!!!
There's something about this movie, I don't know what, that makes me love this movie. First time I saw it, I hated it. Well, I shouldn't say hate, more like dislike with a hint of intrigue. I was so confused, but at least I understood the gist of each plot, even if I didn't understand everything that was said. I ended up looking up on the internet. From the things I had read, people didn't really get it either, so I looked at this movie as six completely different movies being played at the same time. It actually made it a bit easier to take in.
After that I added in the simpler connections (by the way, this is after…
Great movie, but the plot is a little more difficult than expected. Not everyone is able to understand it.
At first I was confused which lead to delightful intrigue but after another 40 minutes this faded and I became increasingly annoyed and bored. I feel like this has all the contents to a great film and that I might be looking at it the wrong way but after this viewing these are my thoughts.
This film was like a really disappointing bowl of soup. Even if they added more Keith David, it would still taste like shit. There's a couple of interesting scenarios, but the film does nothing with them. Not a single story is interesting on its own, and when muddled together the film is just a bland exercise of montage editing.
I am now convinced that the wachowski brothers are just a pair of really simplistic, childish and naive "filmmakers" with a blantanly pretentious agenda of "equality" and "social justice", that somehow made The Matrix by accident.
Absolutely terrible on every front imaginable. I would have rather watched an 80 minute comedy flick about that old publisher escaping the institution than this 3 hour pretentious piece of shit.
Peeping Tom, Night of the Hunter and a whole host of older films were ignored or given bad reviews upon…
Apologies for the rather clumsy and drab title, I was going to call it Pure Cinema but that isn't quite…