Movie Review: Cloud Atlas (2012)

It is one of the most beautiful scenes of the movie.
I've always had obsession of doing this.
Updated After Second Watch (the strikethrough text is a review after first watch)

I’ve waited too long to watch this movie. Even the first trailer grabbed my attention with surprisingly beautiful sets and brilliant cast. Accordingly I’d huge expectations when I bought a ticket for its screening.

This movie is a lot complicated to just watch. You’ll probably need to get some notes in order to remember every single detail (that should be important) during almost three hours run. I’ve counted six separate stories told and most of them do not (or could not) connect each other. The Wachowskis travel audience through different times, from past to very future and they do it very quickly, sometimes I got lost and wished I could pause the movie to understand all.

I had trouble with characters too, because I see Tom Hanks in 6 different kind of makeup, in the skin of 6 different characters and 6 different stories. The same happens with Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent and lots of others. The first thing you think is that those characters have to be somehow connected and then you start finding links between them, you got lost and gave up. In the end I acknowledged that almost none of them share the same background or something mutual. Most stories are separate.

There is a definite idea of reincarnation of characters from past to future. Robert Frobisher (a composer of Cloud Atlas symphony) reborns as Luisa Rey (Halle Berry as a journalist) after suicide. They both have the same "star tattoo" on the body and Luisa recognizes the music she has never actually listened to, in current life.

However the best thing you could do with this movie is to free your mind and just watch it. Cloud Atlas is about extreme thirst of freedom and search for the happiness in any life. Every single character tries to make themselves free, escape from something tying them. For someone it's about death, for others it's about rebel and finding the other missing part of them. That is how all these 6 stories connect with each other. Every act of past character influences the fate of another one in the future, the way how s/he has to fight, for what s/he has to fight and with whom.

The first thing I am sure about is that Halle’s two characters (Jocasta – a daughter of old composer) and Luisa (journalist somewhere in mid 80s) have got a link. Jocasta witnesses the creation of symphony Cloud Atlas and Luisa recognizes it in some music shop. As long as the Cloud Atlas was a very rare thing and not many people have known it, I guess Luisa is a kind of reincarnation of Jocasta.

The second definite thing is that movie end in very very far future and the earth probably does not exist anymore. Hank’s one of the characters, saved by other people coming from the sky (Berry’s another character) lives somewhere in outta space telling his grandchildren story of his planet.

Each story is great separately, but the fact that they don’t make any sense together, does work against the movie itself. It makes you tired, bored or just you stop listening and watch the beautiful artworks of future and past worlds.

I still think the brother and sister directors are pretty good. I have never been a huge fan of Matrix, but always acknowledged the difficulties director would face when making such kind of complicated film. I am sure Cloud Atlas was not easier. But I also believe that the director’s main work is to deliver the craft tightly and understandably, in the most pleasant way one could imagine. I bet Cloud Atlas is not the best example of successful film making and story delivery. Personally, I wanted to get more, more pleasure and passion and emotions.

The only thing giving me a chill is the music, astonishing soundtracks and especially, main theme that is brilliant. The one touched my soul, very deeply and accompanied the whole movie perfectly. By the way, Art direction is splendid, spectacular.

I guess, Cloud Atlas is not that difficult movie to watch, you just have to do it at least twice (and I bet you will do it three or more times, because you want it). The idea is that, don't try to remember every moment or detail, you'll fail in any case. Enjoy, think and feel free.

All in all, this movie is one of the MUST see this year. So, I highly recommend every reader to take any chance and watch this on as bigger screen as possible.


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