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‘Cloud Atlas’ guides audiences on thought-provoking journey

Submitted by David Ellis on November 19, 2012 – 2:05 pmNo Comment

The multi-genre film “Cloud Atlas” boasts top-notch actors and a fresh style of storytelling. Based on the award-winning novel by David Mitchell, the movie tells the story of one soul which goes on a journey from murderer to hero over the course of six lifetimes.

“Cloud Atlas” placed Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon and others into roles that span different time periods to show how the actions of different people can affect several generations. This, in addition to different geographic locations, involved a lot of make-up, prosthetics and fake accents; however, this only came to show the versatility of the actors and crew.

Directors Tom Tykwer (“Perfume”) and Andy Wachowski (“The Matrix”)  brought their distinct styles to the film.  “Cloud Atlas” blended the  futuristic effects and action-driven style of Wachowski with the storytelling and character development of Tykwer. The budget for the film was approximately $100 million, and it grossed just over $9 million on its opening weekend.

“Cloud Atlas” received a 63 percent from critics on Flixter’s Rotten Tomatoes website while 77 percent of polled audience members enjoyed the film. Most criticism was based on the idea that the combination of special effects and the thought-provoking storyline would be too heavy for some viewers. But it was that combination of visual effects and storyline that sold me on this movie — this film definitely had some meat with the potatoes.

This film presents original ideas to the audience during a time in which many films are comprised of tween vampire-werewolf love triangles and trendy but inaccurate period movies. Movies like “Cloud Atlas” are what the industry needs to revitalize its base. I was not just entertained by the film; I was affected by it and judging by the quiet introspective reaction of other audience members (including my wife), it affected them too. Viewers will be pleasantly surprised by “Cloud Atlas” — as long as they keep an open mind.


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