Review of The Cloud Atlas movie
The Cloud Atlas comes at you from every angle. Based on David Mitchell’s 2004 novel, it is a very ambitious film. Not only does it veer between epochs, it also manages to veer between character’s stories in a very convincing way. That is to characters appear and disappear, themselves somehow intact but in a different epoch, with different families and sometimes *gulp* in different bodies. How are we to discern who’s who? A tattoo, for one thing; there is a small comet with a trail that is etched on one character so that we can recognize him in different bodies and even at times in different genders. Whaaat?
This is a mind-bender of a "what would happen if" movie. Science fiction based on the concept of karma; if you do this in this lifetime, then something like this will happen to you next time. That you are not dead and over with is patently clear when characters return to reenact their problems with different settings...and what settings! Seoul Korea 2144 to the South Pacific 1849 to San Francisco 1973. Each time we are treated to an entirely different story with a different cast - except that these people have known one another in different lives. It gets a little tiring as the movie is around 3 hours long and we are treated at the end to a post apocalyptic scene in the Hawaiian Islands with Tom Hanks channeling Laurence Olivier using patois. I liked it for the same reason I hated it; Too ambitious, too long and too much information. Sounds a little like 2012 to me.