Cloud Atlas Review
about the making of Cloud Atlas, I
had a curious reaction to the news: a mixture of excitement and
wonderment that was both an example of my sense of awe at the
ambitions and that of someone who was wondering if it was possible a
box office bomb and critical failure was what was in the works. Cloud
still yet turn out to be a box-office failure -- that depends on
and how many people make it to see it in the theater. I am confident,
that this is one of the most successful artistic endeavors in cinema
ultimately, the box-office numbers mean squat when it comes down to
sounded ambitious from the beginning
because it was something different from what audiences have come to
Hollywood and even from the filmmakers responsible for making this
unique creation: the Wachowski's (creators of The Matrix
Trilogy) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run). Cloud
is based upon the novel written by David Mitchell. This was a book many
believed impossible to make into a successful film. Unfortunately, I
it yet, but it is surely an amazing source material for the film to
so remarkable. The Wachowski's and Tom Tykwer are impeccable filmmakers
they are perfectly in synch for this adaptation.
even begin to dig further into this review, I might as well say that I
intent to get into the machinations of the plot itself and the
unfolding of the
storytelling. This is an experience that requires a great deal of
and that should be discovered like any good story. The film is so
relevant, and so wonderful... that merely going into plot-details seems
sort of unnecessary.
This is the type of story that you should discover yourself and having
reviewer spell out the basic ideas of the storylines found in Cloud Atlas would take away some of the
joy of experiencing the story for the first time.
that the film features great performances by Jim
so many others. You might
also want to recognize that the score by Tom Tykwer and frequent
Heil and Johnny Klimek was perfectly composed and eloquently suited for
film. Or perhaps you are also intrigued by how massive a scope the film
through its cinematography by Frank Griebe and John Toll? These
filmmaking technique and style are uniformly impressive. That's not
even with any
previous mention of the impeccable special effects or the lush
Cloud Atlas is difficult to try and
explain to someone. On the surface, it's a story about different times,
and paths taken. The film unfolds different stories at once. But it's
how everyone is connected: how each person is capable of both good and
how a good decision - an act of kindness, for example - can ripple
and have good impacts on future incarnations. The movie is playing with
idea of multiple-lives, and of how everyone on this planet is
connected. We are
all as one and together. There is no division of race, of gender, of
boundaries that are normally defined by human beings as having any
meaning. Cloud Atlas is a film
speaking out for the unity of all.
found in the story of Cloud Atlas is
one of the most beautiful messages I have ever seen in film: everyone
experience love and freedom, and that everyone is connected. Everyone
commonality in life. Even in moments of great despair and moments of
and bliss, we share a common human experience: life is something that
breathes in each of us and we are there to experience our lives and
a way that can transcend time itself. It may sound hokey to some
members, but this is one of the most unifying and transcendent messages
story could possibly hope to convey.
examines injustices given to
human beings as the result of ignorance and hatred against those of a
race, gender, and sexual orientation and it says to its audience: no
thing, regardless of origin, deserves to be discriminated against and
is equally deserving of living a life of love and unity.
that all human beings are capable of both good and bad. This is a point
the film makes abundantly clear. Yet it is the film's hopeful plea for
compassion and unity amongst everyone that makes this film and its
completely different from the studio-filmmaking norm. It speaks to the
as a unified soul; a unified spirit. Watching the storytelling unfold
audience is a magical experience too.
have been a gigantic mess of
a film. After all, the story essentially blends multiple narratives
unified storyline and it does so in a way that skips through time,
space, and location
like no other story. The film follows characters in the past, present,
future as they experience their connected lives. As I said, it could
a gigantic and disappointing disaster. I was partially holding my
hoping that the film wouldn't disappoint me on an epic-scale.
news, the surprising news, is that
the film does succeed at being one of the most uniquely satisfying and
ambitious movies in over a decade. Films
like Cloud Atlas are in essence the
reason we go to the moves in the first place: it's a celebration of
visual wonderment, a voyage into the hearts and souls of humankind, and
that marvels in ambitious, thought-provoking storytelling. After all,
storytelling one of the essential elements of human nature? People love
stories, share them; and experience stories themselves. Storytelling is
universal part of humanity.
audiences genuinely like creatively ambitious, unique, intelligent, and
exciting motion-pictures that aren't sequels or relatives of other
(a comic-book film is becoming of a staple of the industry, after all)
can hope Cloud Atlas becomes
discovered by a larger audience. Usually, I don't make a call to
see a film in this fashion in any of
my reviews but here's a film that deserves it: everyone should
movie at least once.
is connected. In life, regardless of our time or our space in an ocean
drops" (to quote Cloud Atlas), we all
share a common experience. We must strive to be good to others. As we
and love, we will receive kindness and love... and these moments can pass
a stream of time into the lives of others. Cloud
Atlas is a metaphor for life itself, and something that aims to
clear that everyone walks or swims along the same stream. It doesn't
have to be
a stream of inequality. It can be a stream of unity and of peace, and
ultimately bring us love and happiness for ourselves and for others.
for cinematic worth? Cloud
Atlas is a movie made from the
heart: a deeply-felt and wonderfully-realized vision for the world.
who love the experience of "event" movies will cherish seeing Cloud Atlas on the big-screen, even if
they walk away from seeing the film with a need to debate the movie
their fellow film-aficionados. It's an experience that should be seen
big-screen to fully appreciate the sheer scope and ambition of Cloud Atlas.
are lucky that something as bold and creative as this was made today. Cloud Atlas will become a film discussed
by movie lovers across continents and across time.
It will even become a film that is referred
to as not only one of the best films of the year 2012, but it will
known as one of the best films of the decade. It's as amazing as cinema
Make an effort to see this one on the big-screen. Cloud
Atlas is worth it.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.