I’m going to try to avoid spoilers however I may want to talk about important themes in the movie. So if you really want no real knowledge before you see it then don’t read on.
The Cloud Atlas is probably the best movie of last year. The reason that I am not reviewing it till now is because when it was in cinemas last year I was ill. However luckily there is a cinema near me that shows films about six month after they actually come out so I got a chance to see it at the cinema.
The film is based around the theme of reincarnation. So it is actually split into six different styles of movies covering six different time zones. One is set in 19th century america where a lawyer befriends a slave. Another is about a man working with a elderly composer to write a symphony and make some money. There is one set in the 70’s in america about corruption in the oil industry. My personal favorite is The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish a story about an eldery publisher who’s been locked up in an retirement home by his brother and mounting an escape along with the other residents. One is set in the near future in a cyber-punk city. And the last is set in a post apocalyptic earth which reminded me a bit of final fantasy.
In each of the stories the characters are played by the same actors and actresses in the previous and future ones. And as any reviewer will tell you, the make-up team in this film is amazing. They change peoples races and even sexes. sometimes it takes you a few minutes to figure out who the characters are.
The stories and characters all seem to give this feeling that each time and the events within are connected. At a couple of points I was seeing connections between the post-apocalyptic future and the 19th century slavery storyline. This part of the overal tone reminded me of “Lost” with the idea that we all meet again with the people who we share the most important events of our life with.
If I had one critisism of the movie it would be that it has too much variety. When watching it I remember feeling quite bored because I wanted to see more of The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish which I liked because it had the feel of a Michael Cain movie. However the the film seemed to be forcing me to watch all the other storylines before it got back to the one I wanted.
However the variety gives it a very good feel of the overal premise. That we repeat our life in a different time and our actions then not only effect us in that life but effect us in future lives.
Before I finish up I would just like to say that it’s nice to have a movie that poses a philosphical question on the nature of reality and spiritual matters but without being massively pretentious and buggering up the message in the end. So basically we need to send someone to go round to Ang Lee’s house and shout “This is how it’s done!”.
I also want to urge people to buy this movie because it made a loss in the cinema and it deserves more.