But let me forewarn you that it’s not an easy movie to watch or to follow as its storyline is NOT told in chronological order.
With a running time of nearly three hours, CLOUD ATLAS tells six stories exploring how actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, present and the future.
“Why are we making the same mistakes over and over?”
What we’ve got here is the interlaced storytelling of six unrelated novellas in time cutting back and forth from the 1840′s to mid 2100′s. Stories cover the spectrums of love, hope, courage, life and death—yet dramatically offer a connection that spans the decades.
“Death is only a tool. When it comes, another one opens.”
Based on David Mitchell‘s intriguing novel, this is a story that thought to be impossible to transform into a motion picture. Whoever said that could be right as it will leave many a moviegoer scratching their heads.
CLOUD ATLAS utilizes the talents of three directors who also wrote the screenplay.
Namely Andy and Larry Wachowski (Ooops, make that Lana since the sex change) of THE MATRIX and SPEED RACER fame and Tom Tykwer probably best known for his 1998 arresting German film RUN LOLA RUN.
Almost forgot the cast!
It’s an impressive one too, including Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant and Susan Sarandon. ALL in multiple roles. Tom Hanks alone plays six parts with action, mystery and romance connecting across the centuries.
My favorite scene in the film takes place at a rooftop cocktail party where one of Hank’s multiple characters throws a pompous critic over the railing to his death. So much for snobby criticism.
A movie buff sitting next to me at the screening of CLOUD ATLAS probably summed it up best. “I’m glad I didn’t bring my wife,” he said. “She probably would’ve made us leave about an hour into it.”
CLOUD ATLAS is one of those movies that for full comprehension should be seen twice. But that’s asking a lot considering the film’s running time.
I won’t be going back.
So of if the TV commercials for CLOUD ATLAS are driving you to see this epic at least now know what you’re in for. Shades of TREE OF LIFE with touches of BLADE RUNNER maybe.
Forward, backward and sideways at times. From womb to tomb. The boundary of noise and sound. Whatever. It IS impressive film making for sure. But it’s hard for me to recommend CLOUD ATLAS to the average movie fan who may leave the theater questioning themselves as to what they’ve just been through for the past three hours. And why they spent all that money on a ticket.
That’s why in good conscience I’m raising just 2-1/2 out of 5 time-bending fingers.
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES: On Radio / On Cable / On Line.