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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A great piece made buy two of the most high rated directors "the
wachowskis". The film is brilliant but it does have few blunders.It
starts with a very special but also confusing opening title, and it
ends while giving you the same feeling, feeling lost in the middle of a
massacre, chaos, like a meaningless dog chasing its own tail trying to
teach you something but won't, which only causes more and more
The reason that people think that this movie is worthless, is because they have gotten lazy, intending not to think, not to solve riddles by themselves.
If movies are puzzles, the society wants to see the puzzles solve by themselves, which most movie are like this these days. But Cloud Atlas is much more different. In case of puzzles, this film gives you the pieces but wants you to put them together buy yourself, using very intense and masterclass dialogue the film gives you clues on how to solve the puzzle, which requires thinking and sharpness. Also, there are some unbelievably great performances, especially form Tom Hanks, Hugo weaving, Helle Berry and Ben Whishaw.
Indeed, its a mess but has a pattern to it, and you have to find it yourself. the movie is not a masterpiece (but its very close to one) because I believe "the Wachowskis" were focusing too much on the details that they forgot about some very very basic parts that every movie has.
So, if you are about to watch Cloud Atlas for first time, make sure you paying enough attention while watching, if you don't you'll get lost.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Let me start by saying this is not the kind of movie I generally watch.
I'm all for the mindless action, occasional drama genre. So why did I
even pick up this film? It was at the library, I looked at the actors
and thought - OK. I didn't know anything about the film when I started
watching it. I'll also share that I am not the type of viewer that
concentrates on movies (on DVD). I multi-task - emails, etc. - while I
'watch'. Luckily, I also had 'subtitles on' (some parts are hard to
While the film was slow in getting started, there was something about the timeline stories that caught my interest. The characters are well- done and I wanted to find out what happened to them in the different 'times'. It was obvious right off that the characters move between timelines. This has been done before but never 6 at the same time. What was done exceptionally well was the way the movie built momentum as it neared the end - in ALL six timelines - frantically switching back and forth. So you're watching, waiting to find out what happens in your favorite timeline - you will have one or two - and things are happening fast and furious in all 6. My three favorites were 'Adam Ewing - the lawyer on the ship', 'Somni 451 and Hae-Joo Chang' in the future and the composer, Frobisher. Jim Sturgess was fantastic as were Doona Bae and Ben Whishaw. The sensitivity they brought to their characters was truly exceptional. Tom Hanks and Halle Berry are not my favorite actors but were OK in their parts. The comic relief of Cavendish was done well but I have to admit, I had no idea how any of it worked into the timeline threads until I read about the story online and re-watched the movie. Yes - it's complicated, yes - it was not done as well as it could have been - but it has never been attempted before - to do 6 timelines, with actors moving between sets and locations like this. It was a remarkable feat of film-making and gave me a new appreciation for how difficult it must be keeping all that straight!
I feel that the critics of this movie were expecting something simpler, more action- packed and more main-streamed. I usually do, too. However, there was something different about this movie that drew me in and made me want to know more about how it was made and the actual plot between timelines. It is not light watching and it's long, you'll probably want to watch it again.
Turn subtitles on - it'll be easier to understand because of the pigeon English being spoken in the far future. I understand the film didn't do well when released. I hope it gets more acclaim in subsequent views because it deserves more accolades than it received. It will have you thinking about it for days after viewing.
Awesome movie!! Tom Hanks was brilliant. Haley Berry did a very good job. I was shocked that it didn't win an Academy for best picture, but I'm sure it's because it wasn't violent enough to interest the public in that way. I haven't read the book but I will now that I know there is one. The story is amazing and I loved how it showed our human relationships and how they are such a binding force in the way we live our lives. The acting was phenomenal, you have to be pretty well rounded to pull off multiple characters and succeed in doing so, and not get stagnant. Sometimes the movie was very hard to follow but it was so engaging that is was not hard to stay interested. There were moments when I felt lost but all of the questions were answered by the end. Definitely a must see for people who like movies that have substance and aren't just about killing other humans. A must own and watch over and over again.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In his dialogues "Meno" and "Phaedo" Plato expresses the idea that
"humans possess knowledge from past incarnations and that learning
consists of rediscovering that knowledge within us". That is what the
process of Anamnesis is. And I am very much fond of it.
That is exactly why I think that the movie (and the book) "Cloud Atlas" is a masterpiece of both cinema production capacity and storytelling. And not only that, it is a perfect stage for the manifestation of acting talent. That is something which Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D'Arcy and the rest of the cast undoubtedly possess.
We as mortal people tend not to believe in the eternal and transcendent features of our words, actions and essentially of our souls. And that is understandable. One cannot see beyond his judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. This marvelous mosaic structure of the plot seems at first very hard to cope with. But here come Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis to direct it well enough that it all blends in. The pace of the events in the plot move like a train - first slowly, but then it all speeds up until the characters, the stories and the genres interflow into one parable about love, freedom and the consequences of every choice being made.
"Cloud Atlas" is not only about the immortality of the human soul. It is presenting us the gifts of life that make us human - the values which stick us together around the globe. Such a daring and visual (what incredible make-up and costume artists!) masterpiece does not defy only the usual structure of the narrative, but also (more importantly) our understanding of what is the answer to the eternal question - "What is the meaning of my life?". And at the end of the movie we desire to receive a revelation, but instead we get "a look in the mirror". This movie is complex in its form, but simple in its substance. Life is what you make it and it's YOUR own choice to make it through violence or LOVE.
We have all heard that our actions in the present will impact the
actions others will make hundreds, thousands of years in the future.
"Cloud Atlas" defies that idea by replacing "others" with "we". Over
six story lines spreading from the historical African slave trade all
the way to a post-apocalyptic future, people cut from the same mold
make decisions in their present that effect who they are to be in the
future. The Wachowskis and Tom Twyker have engineered a thrilling,
romantic, truly unforgettable epic.
Screen writing is without a doubt the most difficult aspect of making a film. Everything hinges on how well the plot hangs together, how the lines create conflict and chemistry and make these essentials go together seamlessly. The authors of "Cloud Atlas", who also directed the piece, had a blueprint in David Mitchell's book, but still had to adapt a Star Wars-like future and an early 1900's English countryside into the same film without the plot falling apart. The Wachowski's and Tom Twyker have done exactly so, which is reason enough for this film to succeed.
The actors, including Oscar winners Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, and Susan Sarandon along with Hugh Grant, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw and the underrated Keith David, all perform with downright majesty considering the complexity of the as many as six characters each play. It takes true talent not just to eloquently read lines but also to understand the director's vision, and each performance fits like a glove into the world each of the six stories has created. "Cloud Atlas" is the top of the list of ensemble films.
The best line of the film comes near the end; "From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present. And by each crime, and every kindness, we birth out future." We would all be well to remember this.
A wonderful piece, even better than "the Matrix" series in terms of
humanity and complexity. It's not easy to tell such a long story
(actually a few stories) in three hours, at least I found it hard to
get everything straight during my first watch. I was deeply impressed
by the extraordinary acting ensemble and touched by the story though
when I stepped out of the cinema. It's a much better experience when I
recently watched it again: some lines truly resonated with a
reverberating roar in my heart, like the following one I understand now
the boundaries between noise and sound are conventions. All boundaries
are conventions, waiting for the truth in it. One may transcend any
convention, if only one can first conceive doing so. Moments like this,
I can feel your heart beating as clearly as my own, and I know that
separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations
This film is worth watching over and over again.
wow what a film... so glad i finally locked in this modern feat proving
an instant masterpiece... the Wachowski brothers are back with their
best effort since the original Matrix film, possibly even surpassing
it's predecessor with it's ambitious overlapping narrative form, yet
somehow stringing together different time periods, a juxtaposition of
characters or a common bond / theme rolls throughout each part... it's
like watching 5 different films at once, with their stories unwinding
in a similar way... stating that there is life after death & we keep
making the same mistakes until there's an urgent call for change, for
revolution, for love, for all eternity...
this is not an easy watch with a running time of 172 mins, but i urge yourself like i did to pick a time that you are prepared for a ride like no other... a brilliant screenplay impeccably delivered to the screen by these 2 brothers, proving there is still hope for greatness out of Hollywood & original stories / concepts...
the film reminds me of are Wong Kar Wai's "2046" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "Magnolia" in narrative structure, but taken to new heights with the way the stories transition and interweave... yes it's a long film but i couldn't see this cut any shorter from an editor's perspective, it was perfect in it's delivery by close that left me with chills... it's a film you'll get a lot more from with repeated viewings, like the Wachowski brothers "The Matrix" did all those years ago... but this time upping the anti with this feat of writing / directing that is extremely rare nowadays
however reading figures of opening weekend and sales since then makes me think this $100M+ film may not break even, so do your part to check this film out, hire it or buy it... even if u refuse to pay for media nowadays, d/l & watch it then decide weather it's worth owning... cause if u have an intense experience like i did, ull be hanging to watch it again on Blu Ray -
9/10 and added to my "Masterpiece Collection" list
Were I to worry about our future, it would be less about all the
horrors that await than our ability to reason about them. There is a
rather short tether between this and wonder about what we are doing to
long form narrative. My own story about who we are and where we came
from rides on the back of long, complex multidimensional stories. It
isn't language so much that drives evolution but what wonders we build
with it. In my life I have witnessed our expected length of concept
shrink from hours to minutes or even seconds. I blamed TeeVee, then
So when I see a film constructed like this, my first suspicion is that the writers and viewers have entered into a pact: short episodes, high visual richness with an engaging, somewhat amusing hunt to find the celebrity behind the makeup. This would be a pact built on laziness and worlds too simple to live in: good guy, bad guy, savior. It would be a pact that allows us to use the length of sitting to convince ourselves that we understand stories like the grownups do. This is my first thought coming in and it puts me on guard.
And this is in spite of the presence of Tom Tykwer, who made "Heaven," one of the most inferentially complex long form constructions I know. Here he directs three 15 minute films. Two are trivial. The 1936 era story is in fact structured after the fashion of Kieslowski, and could easily have served to make the rest matter if they had similar anchors in the world, anchors of unknown loss. God I wish he had written the whole thing.
The 2012 story is pretty darn good, too. Not because of what it contributes, which is just comic relief, but in the way it is told through references to other films. Included is the very cool notion that the film we see is the source of another, written by the guy within both. (We see a bit of this film in a later episode, shoehorned into the plot.)
These are just two out of six. The last two chronologically overwhelm the rest with childish simplicity, and manic emphasis. So it lacks many of the things that matter to me when I come to a film for sustenance.
But holy cow the art of how they are edited together is astonishing. Often I have some inside information about the process, but I have been working other things recently. So I just do not know whether the director-writers knew what they were doing ahead of time or some internal genius sorted it out. No matter; this is good craft and if you are in the mood to be swept up by it, it will work for you. It did for me.
Others have successfully pulled off this strategy of short episodes additive in some way to give us the value from long form. That value, by the way, is to be sufficiently incarnated in the thing that when changes in it occur, we change.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
The atmosphere and the summary of Cloud Atlas would be impossible to
describe. If I tried you wouldn't understand a word I said. I just want
to say that this kind of movie is worth to watch as it has a particular
plot since it is divided into several branches which developed as the
movie goes a long.
I just recommend the Cloud Atlas because it's a movie that's very interesting to watch and makes you think. I would also recommended because the movie(even though it almost last 3 hours) is surprisingly fresh and outstanding. Although I do recommend to watch it alone and to be concentrated to be able to submerge into the plot.
Did I miss something? Maybe I did, but maybe thats the point, maybe
this movie is an all you can eat buffet and you take from it what you
want. Complexity walking sideways down a linear path that leads to
where you were always never headed. Its like the film makers took a
thousand piece puzzle and delicately cut each piece into smaller bits,
tossed the lot into a blender then calmly placed each bit on the table
randomly. The pieces fit together and the picture is complete, but the
image in front of you doesn't matter anymore, watching it all unfold is
For me, great movies leave me feeling different afterwards. Somehow they touch my life and I am no longer who I was, even if this feeling dissolves after a few hours I can't go back to the world I was in before. I didn't feel like this after Cloud Atlas, I felt it most the way through.
The film is just shy of 3 hours but you won't notice thanks to the perfect tempo and structure. You will not rest, you will not desire rest, you will saviour every scene as if it's the last. The characters are brilliant and the dialogue is varied and important. The score. So much happens that I can barely recall half of it, no doubt snippets will find my thoughts throughout this week. I'm going to bed after writing this in the hope that my subconscious makes sense of the things my conscious could not.
Will your life be changed after watching this? No, of course not... But if like me, you long for that abstracted personality inside you to breathe life into you once more, this film has, well, bags of it!
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