Cloud Atlas (2012) Review

The film has six different stories going on, all set in different times, it flashes backwards and forwards between the different scenes showing how a soul is impacted from one life to the next. Your actions will mould the soul and this will impact the next body it is in.

I was disappointed to miss this one at the cinema as it really did look like an incredible journey. Don’t get me wrong though it is rather difficult to follow, mainly to begin with when you are working out which part is which year and getting the jist of that story. I do think it is a brilliant idea of looking at a soul and showing that it can impact what will happen in the next life.

I think the main plus about this film was the talent of actors who got involved. You know you are going to get fantastic performances from them all, I love the strong British edge to the film as well. Jim Sturgess has been an actor I have followed for a long time now (since the brilliant Across the Universe) so to see him take on many different roles in this film was brilliant.

The six different stories were a diary of a voyage across the Pacific ocean. Letters from a composer to his lover and the difficult tasks he is taking on. A thriller about a murder at a nuclear power plant. A misunderstanding with a publisher being trapped in a nursing home when he was actually not meant to be in there. A rebellious clone in a future Korea, with some very cool effects. The tale of a tribe living in post-apocalyptic Hawaii very far into the future.

Some parts of the story all link very closely together and have items or something else to help show which order some of them are in. Not forgetting about the birthmark which was clear on the main character of each story, in a different place on the body so that was something else given to the viewers to think about. Little pieces of each story are meant to mean something in another story, I think it will take a few viewings to really understand each part of the story. With having six things to think about and trying to keep track it is very difficult at times. I think because of that I would happily watch this film again and see what I pick up on another viewing.

Another thing which made it confusing was some of the actors looking very similar in the different stories which caused more confusion. But such a great idea and effort made by this film. It’s something totally different in my opinion, and I haven’t seen anything on this scale before. It did remind me a little bit of Babel (mainly just due to a few different stories going on) but with having all of the different time periods and linking of souls it really does give you something new to think about.

A few different phases were used throughout the stories as well, obviously with mentions of Cloud Atlas and that’s something else to link it all together. It did feel like something was missing from it, but can’t quite explain what exactly it was missing. As some of the performances really were brilliant. Must have been difficult for the actors to play so many different characters for one film. Not forgetting three directors who each took two of the time periods each and worked on those stories.

I found a couple of the stories are more memorable than the others, the lovers letters really had me gripped from the very start and made me enjoy Ben Whishaw even more. He is an actor we are sure to see big things from after his performance as Q in Skyfall. That’s something else the stories had throughout, romance. Different kinds of relationships and how love can defy all odds, and never really matters about the situation you are in.

So overall I really did enjoy this film and think it is pretty groundbreaking with what it was trying to do. Pretty difficult to follow at times but I think will another viewing or three it will be easier to follow each of the characters and as a viewer you will see something new. I am thinking about another viewing of this film sooner rather than later as it really is an epic journey.


2 thoughts on “Cloud Atlas (2012) Review

  1. Good review Caz. While the message isn’t as life-changing as it certainly may think it is, it’s still a very entertaining, compelling flick. Even if it does tend to go off the rails at times.


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