I enjoy challenging films. If a movie requires something of you as a patron it has the ability to resonate deeper because you feel more connection because of your investment. Cloud Atlas is certainly a challenging film.
Cloud Atlas tells the story of several individuals spanning many centuries in an effort to show how everything in the universe is connected. Each of the protagonists suffer in some way and are faced with a monumental choice that not only affects their destiny but in some cases the fate of civilization.
There are six narratives of varying quality that are all intertwined much to the general detriment of the film’s pacing. While it features many elaborate sets and fantastic make-up my two favorite stories were the ones that were the least flashy. That’s not to say the other’s aren’t interesting, just that I was glad to get back to the other’s when they weren’t on screen.
From a technical perspective the film is amazing. Each world seems real and the make-up is generally excellent. It does become a little distracting sometimes because they use heavy make-up and prosthetics it makes you more conscious of ‘hey, that’s Tom Hanks’, taking out of the movie a bit.
The main actors are all generally good although because they play so many characters there are a few roles that are not particularly suitable for the actor (Tom Hanks as a violent gangster). Overall, my favorite actor was Hugo Weaving. He seemed to be able to pull off each role very well without hamming it up in an effort to differentiate between performances.
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘the sum is greater than the equal of its parts’, unfortunately for Cloud Atlas the opposite is true. There are so many good things about the movie but it never comes together as a single film. I still want to see it again.
3 out of 5 Stars