Movie Review: Cloud Atlas

I won’t lie, prior to watching the movie and after repeated viewings of the trailer, I was feeling very ambivalent about this film because I’m rather skeptical about trailers that explicitly list the themes of the said movie in sans-serif ALL CAPS right across the middle of the screen. The epic scale of the storyline hinted at in the trailer alongside the over-the-top soundtrack also did not impress me much and I feared that a movie trailer so full-of-itself can only lend itself to disappointment. Boy, how wrong I was.

Cloud Atlas is what you get when you combine a solid screenplay, talented actors, and filmmakers with a lot of heart. Cloud Atlas is, no doubt, a labor of love. This is the Wachowski siblings at the top of their game and doing what they do best: high-brow philosophy interlaced with gun-fighting action. Also kudos to the lesser known, but no less important, Tom Tykwer. There was clearly a scene that was an allusion to the cult-favourite Run Lola Run (an earlier work directed by Tykwer). The film seamlessly weaves together six distinct stories and manages to deliver one coherent and breathtaking experience. The cast was simply superb and I think each and every one of them gave it their very best. I found each protagonist immensely likable and found it easy to sympathize with each character’s predicament.

Great movies have the ability to inspire us, to move us, and to help us become better, kinder people. Great movies reveals to us the raw intrinsic beauty of life and reminds us to celebrate the sheer joy of being alive. Cloud Atlas is one of the greatest movies ever made and I urge you to take some time to appreciate this incredible piece of art.



About eleganthinker

A philosopher in practice, but a poet at heart.
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8 Responses to Movie Review: Cloud Atlas

  1. Bob the Builder says:

    good review

  2. Stephanie says:

    Wow. Did we see the same movie?

    • We probably did. Did we get the same impression? Probably not…
      I would still love to hear what you think of the movie though.

      • Stephanie says:

        I liked parts of it, and there were some great performances, (the Korean robot girl was fab, and Jim Broadbent is always a treat) but I thought it was too long and a bit (actually, a lot) full of itself. It felt like there was a “Big Message” being shared here, but I really didn’t think it was all that clear what it was. And the bits that were all in dialect drove me batty. I didn’t hate it, but it felt like a pointless movie to get through, and I left a little bewildered as to why someone thought these stories needed to be told.

      • Yeah, I think a lot of the film hinges on the “dialect” and I do think they are integral to a full appreciation of this movie. If you find yourself not being able to relate with the ideas presented and just focus on the action, then the stories wouldn’t make a lot of sense. I can state several themes and messages that the movie was trying to convey, and I wouldn’t mind, but I think that would defeat the purpose. What I mean is, if you didn’t get a “Big Message”, then who am I to try and convince you there was one. The art should speak for itself.
        (Thanks for the comments. I’ll let you know if I ever attempt a thorough interpretation/deconstruction of this movie. Also, your blog is inspiring.)

  3. cheisserer says:

    I agree. I’ve spent a little more time thinking about why people don’t like this movie, and I think it’s because a genre doesn’t exist for this to fall into. The romantic and spiritual people will be put off by the violence, the action/entertainment viewers will be put off by all the running commentary between said action scenes, the scifi buffs want more scifi, the psychological want less plot, history buffs want more content (detail/focus on periphery), etc. A lot of people might look at this movie and say, “They could have said their message better.” Unfortunately (and fortunately for me) the world isn’t a neat genre from where the individual may sample as he wishes (today I believe I’ll have a Romance with cream). When a director tries to tie Life, Love and Everything together in a single story I find a much greater message: no ends, no beginnings, just cycles and patterns in the chaos.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m glad someone appreciates this movie.

  4. olivia says:

    Add to your cycles and patterns, dimensions that interrelate, interreact and are progressive.

  5. Chris says:

    I agree with you. The trailer was way more direct about the overarching themes than the movie itself. For partly this reason, I avoid watching movie trailers in general.

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