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While it took awhile for me to gather my thoughts from this film to make a review, I decided that I might as well put out a review and then could come back and add more thoughts later. Here is my review of Cloud Atlas.

First off let me begin with this statement: Cloud Atlas is not only one of the most ambitious films ever made it is also one that will spark much debate. This is a polarizing film and the sheer scale of it is beyond mystifying. The range the actors have to display is insane and the multiple stories told and finished is incredible. But that doesn’t make it the best film of the year.

Cloud Atlas follows multiple stories from different eras that show how people and the decisions they make are all connected through the realm of time and space. If that’s not setting up an epic scale then I don’t know what is! While it gives us all these stories and all these characters, it never gives us a true connection that connected them all, which is what I was looking for and maybe I am wrong.

The cast includes the likes of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Hugh Grant, and Jim Broadbent and has three directors in Lana and Andy Wachowski as well as Tom Tykwer. All of these people play multiple roles in the movie, for example Hanks plays six characters and the directors split the movie in half and direct different eras.

This is one of the more impressive parts of the film, the range that these filmmakers and actors display and the fact that they have different personalities and even genders or races that they have to embody. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this in any movie and watching this take place was a spectacle in itself. No one stood out by themselves but rather each actor had maybe a character or two that were great parts.

The second amazing aspect of this film is it’s visuals. As I mentioned before, the scale is unreal and the fact that they put this together is an accomplishment in itself. I probably tie the Neo-Seoul from the 2031 part or the island from the 2044(?) segment. The epic scale of both of those parts was mesmerizing and the way that the Wachowski’s shot them was incredible.

Now the problems I have with the film mainly lie within the story. While each story does do a nice job of wrapping each other up, the whole connection between them is not as clear to me.

While I understand that their choices and I assume the act of love connects them I felt that there should of been more meaning in the Cloud Atlas sextet which seemed to be a key component of the story. I also want to know if there is any connection between the earlier stories and the later stories. I feel like more viewings of the film will make these clearer but just from one viewing I’m not clear to what all was supposed to be linked.

Cloud Atlas truly was though a spectacle and I highly recommend seeing it because it is something unlike any other movie watching experience. I’m hoping to view it in IMAX the second time to maybe have the visuals pop out more and make the experience even more special. While it is not the most clear narrative, the whole thing is absolutely worth your time and the sheer amount of time and effort put into it should be rewarded by you paying to see it.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Cloud Atlas

  1. Great review, Zach. Kudos! Sums up how I feel. I also need another viewing. I'm very glad that Warner Bros. and the filmmakers took the risk to make this film. I wish more studios and directors would do this. The current drivel at the box office can make one go crazy.

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