Cloud Atlas is a beautifully woven, unparalleled epic story!

I will admit that I was skeptical.  I had heard that the novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell was impossible to adapt to the screen because of its six separate stories, that were told in a Russian doll sort of way–each story nestled into another.  Although I have not read the novel, I was impressed by how writers/directors The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer created one fluid story.  A single narrative that weaves and intertwines the six stories in different time periods and in doing so, they are able to show a wide, ambitious scope that ends on an emotional, personal note.  Brilliant.  I have never seen anything like Cloud Atlas attempted in film before.

Honestly, I was still upset with The Wachowskis over Speed Racer and don’t get me started on the Matrix Trilogy (The Matrix could have been only the beginning–it could have been the Star Wars of the 21st century–it could have…but NO.  Ruined. So sad.)  I loved their ideas and their writing, but had grown cautious of getting too excited because it usually ended in disappointment.  While attending the 2012 Fantastic Fest Film Festival I was fortunate enough to make it into a secret screening, with the Wachowskis in attendance, and was blown away.  (Side note: The Wachowskis are articulate, intelligent and very funny!)

Cloud Atlas is amazing.  Grand and sweeping.  Intimate and very funny.  Small and personal.  Yet, with big themes and over-reaching moral questions.  It addresses humanity, inter-connectivity, transformation and free will.  Yes.  It achieves ALL of that and more.

The visuals are incredible and the style is very Wachowski and Twkwer.  I found myself marveling in the color and images before me.  The cinematography and music wonderfully add to the experience.  From a primitive culture to a futuristic urban landscape–Cloud Atlas never looks artificial.  It is a beautiful universe.  A beautiful universe that makes you question our existence and our connection to each other.

One of the strongest aspect is the acting.  With each actor responsible for 4 to 6 distinct characters, it is truly a study in the craft and with the impressive cast it does not fail to entertain.  Tom Hanks (my crush intensifies), Halle Berry (strong turnout), Jim Broadbent (scene-stealing good), Hugo Weaving (best, unexpected role), Jim Sturgess (beautiful performances), Doona Bae (haunting) and the many others must have had a blast with this.  It is an actor’s dream to have this kind of opportunity (I would think) and be able to show their range.

Now, I am sure that many will find problems with Cloud Atlas.  They may find it too big–too sweeping.  They may not like the multiple roles on display.  They may not appreciate the connected stories. But, all I can tell you is that I LOVE when I am able to lose myself completely in a film and that is what happened that day.  I was lost and taken on a journey that will stick with me for a long time.

I am already waiting, excitedly, to watch it again.  I am sure there are many things that I did not catch the first time and it will be fun to try to see what other surprises I can discover.  That’s awesome because that is  what I love about movies–finding new things every time I visit them and the good ones are the ones you want to visit over and over.

Love this commentary and trailer!  Can’t wait for everyone to see it!  I look forward to hearing all of your opinions…


About nediunedited

Who is nediunedited? A lover of cinema since the age of seven! All kinds–all genres. Films (TV and Books, too) have shaped my life–they were my escape, my inspiration and even my first role models. I do not rate my films in the traditional sense (no stars, grades, etc.)–instead I give you my opinion and my take on it–I do not give traditional plot summaries either, because I want you to go in clear–ready for your own experience. There is nothing better than discovering a fine film, without any other influence. (Personally, when I want to really see something I practice media shut out–I refuse to watch too many trailers, viral promos, reviews, etc–I have been known to cover my eyes and ears in the theater during trailers–LALALALA!) That’s me–hope you come by and visit! I will definitely make the rounds and find some of you out there, too.

7 thoughts on “Cloud Atlas is a beautifully woven, unparalleled epic story!

    • I loved it! I hope you enjoy it as much.

      I too am anxious to see what everyone feels about–I can see people not liking it for certain aspects (that did bother me) so…it might be next Prometheus. 😀

  1. You have no idea how excited this review made me to see Cloud Atlas! On multiple suggestions from friends, Ive started reading the book and I am blown away by it. I could not imagine being able to link everything together in a film, but I am so happy to hear that somehow it was managed.

    The cast also seems astounding. Thanks for giving me something else to look forward to!

    • Awesome! So glad I could add to your anticipation…it is pretty cool. 0

      I would be interested to see how you will feel about it having read the novel. I have been tempted to start reading the book now, but not sure if it will be the same having watched the movie already?? Let me know what you think…

      Nice of you to stop by–hope to see around more!

  2. Nedi, lovin’ on this one, huh? That’s cool.

    I didn’t connect with it as well. I really, really needed the stories to tie together in more than a passing, incidental fashion in order to justify the runtime, all the storylines, all the characters, etc. And a couple of them connected strongly, while a couple felt like it was a token tie in. It certainly had its moments, and as you said, it’s gorgeous. But it all didn’t tie together strongly enough for me… And thus the scope felt like bloat. 😦

    It’s not bad, I still gave it a good grade… But I didn’t love it.

    • I called it! I saw the division coming…this is the kind of film that splits the field. 😀 I can understand the issues and expected folks to find the loose strings, but for me, the scope captivated–I was completely immersed in the universe they created (and that is a rarity nowadays).

      I found there were more abstract themes rather than actual ties. Love. Cowardice. Faith. Bravery. Evil. I feel like the strokes were broad on purpose to show the universal impact they could have. Each soul had its own arch of evolution within themselves and it affected others, both in small and in big ways. (Example: Hank’s Doctor’s evilness and greed lead to his cowardice and suffering in the future–and he then has to break the cycle.)

      I also enjoyed the fact that the stories were connected in some form of a storytelling medium–a novel, a piece of music, a film and finally a video archive. Obviously, the power of that art form is not loss on the directors and they chose to highlight how influential it can be.

      I liked that you too, used the word ambitious–that is what this film is…ambitious and it gets extra points from me (and you) for even going there. In a world full of more-of-the same, remakes, sequels and low brow entertainment, I will gladly take Cloud Atlas.

      I am planning to watch it again soon to absorb even more little details because obviously the 3 hour length does not bother me. 😀 (I am a marathon movie watcher–so that could explain that…LOTR trilogy in one day? Yup. Done it.)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts (I will put mine up on yours too)! I always look forward to some good move talks…


  3. Pingback: Finally, I post my Top 25 Films of 2012! « nediunedited

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