Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Open Letters Monthly: Cloud Atlas

It's the film that launched a thousand differing opinions. If there's one thing people can agree on when it comes to Cloud Atlas, it's that it is something different to everyone who watches it. Based on the similarly-polarizing novel by David Mitchell, the movie uses actors in multiple roles thanks to unhealthy amounts of makeup and prosthetics, telling an expansive story throughout time.

In six different eras of human history (and future), mankind is striving to redefine itself. Cloud Atlas takes us from a sailing vessel in the 1850's to a post apocalyptic future where there are staggeringly few of us left. In each time, we are introduced to amazing people - from a young composer to an investigative reporter to a cloned slave - destined to amazing events, connected in unique ways through the timeline. Do they have the strength to overcome their obstacles? Will they be able to influence the coming era?

Cloud Atlas is directed by Tom Tykwer and Lana and Andy Wachowski, and stars and ensemble cast of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Bae Doona, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, James D'Arcy, Susan Sarandon, Keith David, Zhou Xun and David Gyasi.

Click here to read the complete review at Open Letters Monthly.

1 comment:

Richard J. Marcej said...

I'd read the book so I knew everything going in. I had no difficulty following all six stories, since I knew what to expect, but I'd be very curious to know if the film was easy to follow by those who hadn't read the book.

I think I enjoyed this film more than you. The "After the Fall" story, in the book, is written in a pigeon english and as you read it, you need a few sentences to "get the gist" of what they're saying. I can understand those not being able to follow what the characters are saying, but selfishly I'm glad they kept that aspect.

As for the "yellow face" while I agree much of the makeup wasn't convincing I'm glad the allowed Sturgess to play opposite to Doona's Sonmi 451 so that their romance as Ewing and Tilda could correlate as their other future romance was doomed.

I didn't see any of this as a problem at all. In fact, if they had someone in black face that would be fine with me. See, I saw this production as a sort of community theater group, you know, actors playing multi parts, getting lost in their parts, just acting. I believe at times we need to step back from things, not assume that someone's doing something just because those in the past gave acting parts due to prejudice and bigotry. I saw this as allowing actors to lose themselves in a part and nothing more.

(yeesh, sorry to be so verbose)