With as challenging a concept like ‘Cloud Atlas‘, the filmmakers are cashing in big time on the audiences’ attention span, and their high interest-levels, as they buckle them up for a grand journey without the slightest know-about of their destination. The magnum opus, owing its heart and soul to a book by the same name, spans six different stories, and explores how the action of one person affects his past and future, and in the process teething into several forms of existence in total morality.
Connections that leads the viewer through 500 years (from 1849 to 2346) wading through six stories, finds itself in the observation of the main character of one story into the previous one, and also in the artful clues that the filmmakers decorated throughout the movie with. The stories are intercut, but the viewer shall find visually connecting them a hell difficult task. Also, the alternating stories add up to the cinematic pleasure rather than maintaining the flow of rationality. With the same characters wearing different make-ups in different eras popping up alternatively, it was just a matter of time before the onlooker finds himself troubled in catching up with the who’s who and the what’s what of the script. The “course of life” couldn’t have been more complex. For vitamin ‘eye’, the movie promises pretty rich visual accounts to look forward to- of the past, present, and the magnificent Jetsons-like future. Also, the human-connect one shares with a movie was missing, as most of the emotions portrayed were way too superficial. Thankfully they managed it with high doses of brain food.
Performance wise, Tom Hanks as the goat-herder and the evil doctor comes out brilliantly. Halle’s journalist role was pretty decent. I loved Ben Whishaw’s performance as the music composer’s sidekick the most, and equally exceptional was Hugo Weaving in his murderous appearances. Jim Sturgess as the man from the future who falls in love with a clone is pretty good.
Cloud Atlas opens up a whole new room for discussions, and is a kind of film that’ll find audience in both sides of the extreme. I personally fall somewhere in the middle though, more so because I had gone through the book sometime earlier when the movie was announced, and what had seemed impossible to put up as a three-hour venture on screen was indeed conceived, but not in a way I had expected. Nevertheless, one of the most intriguing films to have come up this year (also fascinating, so to add), this one deserves to be watched. And discussed.