Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cloud Atlas

Movie Name: Cloud Atlas
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer
Stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Ben Wishaw, James D'Arcy, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving, Keith David, Doona Bae, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, David Gyasi, Martin Wuttke, Xun Zhou
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Sci-Fi
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8

"Cloud Atlas" is a unique project, an adaptation of the stupendous book from David Mitchell, and directed by the trio of Andy and Lana Wachowski, previously directors of "Bound", "The Matrix" trilogy and "SpeedRacer", and Tom Tykwer, who previously directed "Run Lola Run", "Perfume" and "The International". The film offers the premise that everything and everyone is connected, what we do while we're alive carries itself through times and existence. The film follows six different stories, which are connected by some element that the viewer uncovers as the story progresses. The first story follows Adam Ewing in the 19th century, who is slowly being poisoned by a false doctor who is in fact after his gold. The second story follows Robert Frobisher, a young destitute man, who is forced to leave his lover, due to a poor financial situation. Robert ends up working for an almost retired, but well known composer, to secure his earnings, but also to create his own masterwork. The third story introduces Luisa Rey (in the 70s), a reporter who ends up uncovering a masterful conspiracy plot surrounding a nuclear power plant on the brink of collapse. Her discoveries put her on a target to be silenced at all costs. The fourth story presents Timothy Cavendish, an editor and publisher, who is on the run from some aggressive money collectors, and who due to the machinations of his brother, ends up being held prisoner in an asylum. The fifth story takes place in New Seoul, where a race of genetically created women, are specifically assigned managerial tasks. The rebellion in this society wants to expose this new type of slavery. The sixth story takes place in the far future, where Zachry, a man who witnessed his father and brother being killed by a rival clan, helps a more advanced group, of whom Meronym is a part of, explore his world and technology that was left behind and that can save their world.
The film is cleverly constructed and built around these different stories, whose tentacles spread and touch all the other ones. The actors are given different parts in the different stories, changing genders, ethnic groups to serve the purpose of the stories and add substance to the common thread of perpetuity of actions throughout different ages. Technically the film is impeccable, from the stunning cinematography, to the visual effects, which create futuristic, yet "realistic" areas (reminiscent of Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" or Steven Spielberg's "AI") , and of course the makeup which is simply superb.  This is an ambitious and fantastically crafted film, which maintains the spirit of the book and yet gives it an extra layer due to the interpretation of the directors/writers. Worth watching!


Anonymous said...

I feel that the six stories were chopped up and presented in parts just to disguise the fact that the individual stories were rather pedestrian. It’s a bit uneven at times, but still very entertaining to watch. Good review Pedro.