Showing posts tagged: Cloud Atlas
This was probably my favorite movie of 2012
“CLOUD ATLAS” Film Review: the eternal battle between good and evil
4 OUT OF 4 STARS
Yesterday I went to see Cloud Atlas, originally I wanted to see it during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), in which I heard it received a 10 minutes standing ovation during the credits. Respectfully, Cloud Atlas is a study of humanity’s eternal battle between good versus evil, at least that’s what I took from the film. Yes it is epic, yes it is engaging, and yes it is somewhat confusing but not sufficient enough to disconnect you, unless you’re closed minded. Cloud Atlas is one of those great films that lives heavily in its moment, it is not about the beginning or the ending but rather the journey. I suspect this film will get better with repetitive viewings.
The movie is based on David Mitchell’s novel of the same name. I have read that the directors actually consulted with him during script development. Cloud Atlas is about six different stories taking place in six different times and connects them through themes, characters and ideas. What one character does in one story, whether good or bad may have an effect on the next. The movie feels like six mini films that also move forward as a whole. One story follows a lawyer on a journey in the Chatham Islands during 1850, this felt at times like Amistad. Another one follows a poor musician working with his dream composer during 1931, this one reminded me of Amadeus. The other story follows a journalist as she tries to uncover a corporate conspiracy in 1975 San Francisco. Then there’s the present, an unfortunate tale of a small time publisher that becomes an overnight sensation and then gets incarcerated in a retirement home, this one reminded me a bit of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. And then there’s the future, one of them taking place in a dystopian Neo Seoul 2136, I can probably write a review just on this tale since it reminds me a lot of The Matrix films and Blade Runner. And the final story takes places in the far future, 105 years after the great fall, in which earth has been abandoned and the very little civilization left has reverted to caveman and tribe style of living.
Noticed I described the stories chronologically, much like how the novel does it, before cutting them half way and traveling back until the reader ends where they began. The film does this differently, it jumps around through time. But the way the story is told manages to keep the viewer’s brain in order. So once the action hits the ground running it makes sense, its pretty awesome what they have accomplished. The amazing directors trinity of Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski and Tom Tyker have managed to successfully assemble all these elements with heart, interesting characters and thought provoking dialogue. This is an intelligent movie, it is what I wanted from Tree of Life but didn’t get. And it is what I got from The Fountain but multiplied by six.
Because this is partially a Wachowski siblings film, you will find philosophical references and religious ideologies at every corner. This film can easily be debated, discussed and dissected for hours on end, I can’t wait to peep it again. The cinematography is spectacular, Cloud Atlas has some of the best camera work I’ve seen this year. The production design is flawless, I enjoyed the attention to detail that went into capturing the period pieces, specially the gritty look of Neo Seoul. The score was a great addition to the visuals, rising along with the tension and action. As for the cast, I didn’t think much at first but overall I thought everyone was the right fit. Tom Hanks is one of those actors that has become a master of the craft, he’s so versatile at anything he does, and for this reason you can either love him or hate him. Although hating someone for being really good at something seems immature. Halle Berry was great playing all her roles and to my surprise so was Jim Sturgess. Jim Broadbent did a fantastic job in bringing the comedic relief of the film. The beautiful Doona Bae did very well playing the clone that finds her purpose. And of course this movie couldn’t do without having a couple of cult veterans like Hugo Weaving and Keith David.
This is one of the most ambitious movies to come out this year, it deserves to be experienced in the big screen. There’s lots of controversy going around because there are white actors playing Asian characters and Asian actors playing Caucasian characters. Frankly, I think this is stupid that people make a big deal of this, the whole point of this film is that everyone is connected and that we are all the same. Equality is part of the message, but I guess old fashion mentality will always criticize forward thinking. However, I do think that make up work of the movie was well done but it became distracting at times, kind of like how JGL’s make up was distracting in Looper. Still, this is a minor issue I had with the movie. Overall this is an epic tale with wonderful characters and extraordinary situations. Cloud Atlas is just short of three hours in length but its pace will keep you entertained, it is an outstanding achievement in editing. I highly recommend it.
About to start watching this… I’ll write a review later. I’m a bit stoked about it, Tyker and Wachowskis always bring the visuals.
CLOUD ATLAS trailer.
This film reminds me of Aranofsky’s “The Fountain” which I didn’t quite like as much after the first viewing but after a second viewing it really grew on me. I feel “Cloud Atlas” may have the same effect. Besides, I’m a fan of the Wachowsky