CLOUD ATLAS – The Review

It’s hard to go to theaters these days and expect a science fiction movie to actually delve into something worthwhile.  It used to be that films such as these existed to offer audiences something unique and interesting while simultaneously entertaining them.   And that’s just what Cloud Atlas strives to do, and believe me it succeeds.

If one were to stop and think on the nature of life and the simplicities of interaction, you would no doubt on some level go a little bit insane.  You would ponder about the universe of forces that are simply barring down on you, whether due to malice or kindness it wouldn’t matter.  We are merely grains of sand on an endless beach and because of that our life can feel rather insignificant .  But nevertheless, the message of this film is that no one’s time is inconsequential, and the creative team hammers that point home throughout its near three hour run time.

This unique adaptation is anchored by the talented vision of three directors, Tom TykwerAndy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski.  Each bring their own drive and vision to a movie that ebbs and flows with a sharp cinematic wit only equaled by the brilliant editing.  Their work with the varying story lines and plot threads ultimately results in a crescendo of emotions that give this movie a disarmingly human feel.  There are moments where the point of the story feels overly pushed and some of the acting comes off as a bit shaky or even poorly directed, but these are ultimately eclipsed by the beauty of the whole.  It’s ambitious and despite some rather minor narrative missteps you will reach the credits thoroughly satisfied.

To be quite frank any successes this movie benefits from come from the hugely talented cast of actors who had the courage to take on this challenge.  From Tom Hanks to Halle Berry this intrepid bunch do their best to adapt to several roles that jump ages, races and genders to try and convey the interconnected nature that the script calls for.  I especially want to single out Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving, who offer-up performances that are nothing short of captivating.  Their voices and guise adjust to each role, lending a seamless transition between stories.  Beyond them though Jim Sturgess is another standout, who has more than a few memorable moments that will hold viewers attention long after the closing credits.  And Doona Bae will haunt you with her disarmingly heartfelt performance as Somni-451

The beauty and simplicity of Cloud Atlas, is that as a whole we have an endless maze full of intersections and pitfalls that in lesser hands would surely spell disaster.  But somehow in this unlikeliest of scenarios, a book adaption with three directors at the helm and a limited cast, finds a way to succeed while pitching some rather engaging ideas in the process.  This team makes it work in a movie that is nothing short of an orchestrated unison that will leave audience members thoroughly satisfied.  Highly recommended.