A misunderstood masterpiece on life, death and everything in between- (Cloud Atlas, 2012)

Actor Sean Penn once said that “When everything gets answered, it’s fake.” This idea is applicable to most films produced in Hollywood in the last decades. However, every so often, a rare film like Cloud Atlas comes along and dares to challenge your intellect whilst providing you with a dream-like experience.

Based on David Mitchell’s 2004 best-selling novel, Cloud Atlas directed by The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer is a transcending and philosophical tale which primarily revolves around six different lives from different periods in time and how they are all connected through each individual action. Sound complicated? It is. However if you seriously invest yourself and concentrate in the film, you are guaranteed one hell of an experience.

The all-star cast including Tom Hanks, Jim Broadbent, Halle Berry, Ben Whishaw, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving are all on the top of their game as they each take on multiple roles, some heroic, some villainous.  Hanks, Whishaw and Grant are particular standouts with Grant being cast against type as a leader of cannibals in the post-apocalyptic period and as an unsympathetic slave owner in the 19th Century. The film also features stunning cinematography and a triumphant musical score, which help enhance the experience. However, the film’s greatest strength lies in the editing by Alexander Berner and Claus Wehlish, who successfully manage to cut between different periods and stories whilst still maintaining an emotional connection to the different characters.

However, the film does feature one minor flaw through the controversial “yellow-face” make-up , which at times can be a bit of a distraction. However, it is most likely that you will find yourself so immersed in the story and the themes, that you may not even notice.

Verdict

Cloud Atlas is an extraordinary and highly ambitious piece of cinema which uses a strong visual style, as well as wonderful performances from the all-star cast, to create a metaphorical, philosophical and moving cinematic experience.

5/5

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2 thoughts on “A misunderstood masterpiece on life, death and everything in between- (Cloud Atlas, 2012)

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  1. I left the cinema with mixed feelings having seen this film. Of course, the ending is great and the hair and make-up prosthetics are second to none. But for a film about the existence of a soul, it seemed to be fairly soulless. It should be awarded for it’s ambition but it just didn’t connect in the way a film about our inner being should. The Wachowskis are great technical directors, along with Tom Tykwer they managed to create something that felt like it had three directors.. oh! However the Wachowskis are not great at character-driven direction, which is why The Matrix worked, with it’s fairly emotionless cast, and is why Speed Racer and V for Vendetta fall flat.
    I am really glad you enjoyed the film, because I really wanted to, especially because of their clear ambition and good intentions. And I vow to give the film a second chance, but as it stands, I felt like this was ultimately a missable film which left you with thoughts of how good the book might be.

    1. I understand your view completely. I forgot to say that this film is not for everyone. However, I still believe personally that this is one of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. But hey! That’s just me 🙂

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