Man, I am ashamed that it’s taken me this long to get watch Cloud Atlas, sure it’s only been around a week but this was one of my most anticipated films. Why? Well I saw the trailer for this when it first hit the internet back in the summer and I thought it looked incredible. It just looked, unique, mysterious and full of originality. I was gutted when I found out that Americans were gonna get the film in November while we over here in the UK had to wait until FRIGGIN’ FEBRUARY! What the hell! Oh well, the film’s finally been released over here and I’ve watched it, so what’s the verdict? Well read on and find out!
The story of this film has been described as:
“An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.”
In truth that’s the best way to sum it up. In truth what I got from the film was that there were people in different points in time whose actions affected others. It is a little hard to explain without having seen the trailers or the full film, but I thought it was very interesting stuff. I liked the themes of survival, love, courage and change. There are loads of stories going on in this film and you literally jump from one to the other at any given moment, at first this was really surprising and took a while to adjust to but after a while you grow accustomed to it. The concept for this film is bloody impressive and is executed in a unique fashion, however I feel like the overall idea from the original novel didn’t translate across to the audience the way I feel the filmmakers thought it would. I’m not saying I could do a better job because trying to adapt a novel is no easy task, all I’m saying is that by the end of the story some people will be left either in awe or in a state of confusion.
When it comes to the characters, that’s a hard one to talk about without going into specifics, but the film features the acting talents of the following people: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant.
I’ll just highlight a few of the performances that stood out for me. Firstly there’s Tom Hanks, he was fabulous and was probably the actor with the most parts. It was great to see how different each character was and see how versatile Hanks was as an actor. Next we have Halley Berry, this is easily her best film in years. Berry actually look pretty hot at certain points, plus all of her characters were different and interesting. Also Jim Broadbent was great in the film and he definitely brought his A-game to his characters that were really quirky and imaginative. And my other favourite characters were played by Ben Whishaw and Doona Bae as their stories were some of the most interesting a beautiful stuff to me. Now as you might have guessed all of the actors involved play different versions of themselves from different points in time so there’s a lot of make-up involved to alter their features. The make-up jobs on these actors can range from pretty good to downright awful, (Hugo Weaving what did they do to you in Neo Seoul!?!).
When it comes to the presentation it is pretty kick ass for the most part. Besides the questionable make-up that I already mentioned, the cinematography is wonderful and there is some absolutely beautiful shots in the film especially in slow motion. There are also some great use of GCI in the film to create some of these futuristic worlds and action sequences, it was some impressive stuff especially the world Neo Seoul, (Korea). Also the soundtrack for the film by Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil was beautiful and very captivating.
Now while Cloud Atlas isn’t the experimental masterpiece that I was hoping for it was the most unique and ambitious films I’ve come across in a while. In these days of films in the cinema which are either remakes, reboots, spin-offs or your basic book-to-film adaptations, Cloud Atlas appears and really tries to deliver a different kind of film experience, and for that I applaud the film and the filmmakers. Now having said that, when the film ended some guy in the screening shouted “What a load of crap! Did anyone else understand the film?” Some people laughed. As I walked out I could still hearing him moaning away, “What a load of crap, can’t believe I wasted money on that film!” See its ignorant and foolish comments like that really bug the hell out of me, some people just don’t take to things that are different and just stick to the basic shit that Hollywood throws out most of the time. Hell I should have recommended him Movie 43. Anyways I just wanted to say just because Cloud Atlas is different doesn’t mean that it sucks.
So in conclusion after finally watching Cloud Atlas I have to say while it wasn’t nearly as good as I expected it. Though it was still one of the most unique films I’ve seen with some intriguing stories and themes, characters and beautiful presentation. It is a pretty long film nearing around 3 hours but I’d say give this film a chance and then make up your mind afterwards.
Rating: 7.5/10 (It’s a film experience that needs to be seen.)
So there’s my review people, have you seen Cloud Atlas and if so what are your thoughts on it? Whatever they may be drop them below and comment away. I’ll see ya on the next film review yo. 🙂