Cloud Atlas, is the latest film from the Tom Tykwer and The Wachowski brothers. It is a film that spans generations and time periods throughout human history and beyond. What is truly interesting about the film is that it is told through an intertwining of narratives taking place over multiple time periods. This makes the film a very high risk, potentially high reward type of film. High risk because combining these multiple time period narratives has a greater chance of alienating the audience. As well as high reward, because it allows the audience to truly experience the outstanding storytelling abilities of the Wachowski brothers. Cloud Atlas, at times can be long and cumbersome, but it a film worth investing time and effort in. It is not only a high risk/high reward film for the filmmakers, but also for the audience as investing your time into will reveal one of the most intricate and detail driven films of the year.
Cloud Atlas is all about details and putting together smaller pieces of story to understand the overall film. Without true commitment on the part of the audience, they will become lost and disconnect from the overall story. Therefore, this story is not for audiences that wish to be spoon-fed. The overall narrative spans 6 generations, and deals with themes of spirituality, reincarnation, love, sexuality, civil rights, governmental control, and human dignity. While these aren’t the only themes that are tackled throughout the film, they are the most prevalent. These themes have been a part of the Wachowski brothers’ previous works, making this film their most deserving follow up to the Matrix since its release. The audience has to pay extra cautious attention to the details of this film, because they are the only to truly understand the film. Cloud Atlas is a film that ultimately uses philosophical themes to show us that humanity is far more connected then we think.
While the overall narrative is an important and prevalent part of the film, the cast is equally as important. Cloud Atlas, has one of the biggest A-level acting casts of the year. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhou, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Robert Fyfe, and Martin Wuttake, all appear in the film. The most amazing part is all of the actors and actresses don’t only play one role, they play multiple roles. Some cast members are easier to spot than others, but all play multiple roles across varying generations. It is amazing to see the amount of work that went into making this film and changing up the looks of everyone to hide their normal appearances. This adds to the films overall theme: Everything is connected.
Cloud Atlas, is true to its overall theme that everything is connected. The Wachowski brothers and Tom Tykwer are able to keep this theme going strong throughout the film and deliver it to audiences in a great package. If the audience members are invested in the film, they will be wowed by what they see. Unfortunately, the film is not for everyone as the long time length and intricate story will lose some audience members. All and all, this is a film that must be experienced to truly understand. Go out and check it out for yourself.
- Israel Lattiboudeaire