Cloud Atlas (15)

Directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer
Released on 22nd February 2013

Reviewed by Redskye

Firstly it’s an epic length nearly three hours and is based on the 2004 novel written by British author David Mitchell. I was battling throughout with tiredness and the coldness of screen number three at the FACT cinema and was seriously starting to wonder what the attractions of going to the cinema really are?

In many ways I think Cloud Atlas would be better as a four part mini TV series and it may serve the story and viewer better. There are six, yes six separate but inter-related stories beginning in the 19th century and moving through to a distant future. The film jumps back and forth in time, hops around the world and even jumps off planet at the end. The writer was obviously trying to tell us something profound and decided to wrap that message up in interlinked characters that cross generations, genders, continents and cultures. The novel was adapted to film by directors Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis (of the Matrix film series).

Cloud Atlas makes full use of all the lead actors/actresses in numerous guises up to six each. There are numerous examples of latex false noses, on one level this is almost comical, especially when Tom Hanks gets a very obvious large nose as one character. Tom Hanks also does a very poor Irish accent at one point, very reminiscent of Dick Van Dyke’s famously poor cockney accent in Mary Poppins. With all the main characters having multiple latex make overs at various points this becomes a spot the actor/actress game, which can distract from the story. The oriental actress is given a Western look, complete with blue contact lenses and European nose and a European actor is given the latex make over to look Korean. A couple of the characters looked unrecognisable as the opposite gender and you’ll be hard pushed to recognise which actor/actress is playing them.

So what exactly is Cloud Atlas about then?

According to the author the title itself "Cloud Atlas," the cloud refers to the ever changing manifestations of the Atlas, which is the fixed human nature which is always thus and ever shall be and the book's theme is predacity, the way individuals prey on individuals, groups on groups, nations on nations, tribes on tribes. You’ll need to watch this film more than once for it to click as it squeezes a lot of story and visuals into nearly three hours.

Did I enjoy it? Well it was challenging watching it in a cold cinema and yes I did complain about it. I think you need to prepare yourself for a long sit down to watch and interpret the film. I will watch it again and I don't regret paying out to see it, next time I will be more comfortable and therefore more attentive.

Printer friendly page

Sorry Comments Closed