Mad geniuses Tom Tykwer (Perfume) and the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix) boldly take on David Mitchell's layered epic novel, which connects six generations through the power of storytelling. The film takes so many huge risks that it's breathtaking to watch even when it stumbles. And as each tale is passed on to the next generation, the swirling themes get under the skin.
The six stories are interlinked in a variety of ways, transcending time to find common themes. On a ship in 1849, a seriously ill American lawyer (Sturgess) shows kindness to a stowaway ex-slave (Gyasi). In 1936 Edinburgh, a great composer (Broadbent) hires a musician (Whishaw) to transcribe his work, then tries to steal the young man's magnificent Cloud Atlas symphony. In 1973 San Francisco, a Latina journalist (Berry) gets a tip about dodgy goings on in a local nuclear power plant. In present-day London, a publisher (Broadbent) is trapped in a nursing home by his brother (Grant) and plots a daring escape. In 2144 Neo Soul, an official (D'Arcy) interrogates a replicant (Bae) who started a rebellion alongside a notorious rebel (Sturgess). And in a distant stone-age future, an island goatherd (Hanks) teams up with an off-worlder (Berry) when they're attacked by a warlord (Grant).
While the themes in this film are eerily involving, what makes this film unmissable is the way the entire cast turns up in each of the six story strands, changing age, race and gender along the way. Even so, they're essential variations on each other. Weaving is always a nemesis, whether he's a hitman, a demon or a nasty nurse. Hanks' characters are always strong-willed and often badly misguided. Grant goes against type to play sinister baddies. And D'Arcy is the only actor who plays the same character in two segments, as Whishaw's 1930s young lover and Berry's 1970s elderly informant. Meanwhile, each segment plays with a different genre: seafaring epic, twisted drama, political mystery, action comedy, sci-fi thriller and gritty adventure.
Continue reading: Cloud Atlas Review
We’ve taken a look at some Cloud Atlas reviews to see whether the Tom Hanks epic is worth your hard earned cash. Enjoy!
Based on the 2004, Booker Prize nominated book of the same name by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. It’s basically Love Actually for sci-fi fans, but what did the critics think? Well, they couldn’t really decide, culminating in a rather mediocre media response. “This is by no means the best movie of the year, but it may be the most movie you can get for the price of a single ticket,” wrote New York Times review A.O Scott, in a fairly positive review. However, The Newark Star Ledger condemned the film as a finished product: “If the talented Wachowskis are ever going to achieve true artistic nirvana, they're going to have to be more disciplined with their grand ideas, more ruthless in their rewrites.”
MSN Movies were perhaps the most succinct in their decision on the movie, writing: “It's kind of astonishing that for all its ambition and accomplishment, and for the ostensibly subversive philosophy it pushes, Cloud Atlas ends up being just another platitudinous overblown pummel-you-into-submission movie-machine.” Did we say succinct? We meant the opposite. To surmise, Cloud Atlas is a film for: a) movie lovers, b) fans of the book or c) fans of confusion and inevitable derision, or all three. Have fun.
Continue reading: At The Movies: Cloud Atlas Review Roundup