Film Review: Cloud Atlas

| 28 February , 2013 | Reply

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Directed by: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy
Sassi’s Star Rating: 3/5

A lot of stars, a lot of plots, and a lot of minutes. Following the success of the Cloud Atlas novel by David Mitchell, the sci-fi movie weaves the story of multiple protagonists through various periods. The plots vary greatly, and it would take five pages to explain them, but the common thread are the characters, reborn in different times and with different motives, but always finding their lives entangled with each other.


Tom Hanks and Halle Berry each play seven characters  – which must be an actor’s dream. Hugo Weaving has his usual detached murderer role, but he also hilariously plays a female nurse in a retirement home, while Jim Sturgess and Doona Bae thrive in their roles.


The award-winning novel has won many fans, and it took a trio of directors to transform the well-praised novel into a film. Directed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings (directors of The Matrix), the trio apparently had equal say in the movie’s production. It could have been a disaster, and at times the film feels disjointed, but with three strong directors all taking the reins, that’s hard to avoid.


At 172 minutes it’s long. If you loved the book and the intricacies of the plot, you won’t mind. If you haven’t read the book, the constantly switching time period from the 1800s, to the 1930s, to the 1970s, to 2012, to the future and back again, can take a while to sort out. It’s definitely a film that’ll keep you thinking, and if you immerse yourself in each story it is intriguing. If you’re a fan of the traditional story arch however this probably isn’t the flick for you (and just a warning if you pop out to grab popcorn you’ll probably return completely confused).


The start may take a while to get into, as Tom Hanks’ first character Zachry speaks in a broken English that sounds part Creole, part pig Latin, and part Yoda. Get past that though and there are some good stories, fun acting, and an interesting tie of lives beyond the ages.

 What roles will you play through time? Cloud Atlas in cinemas now!


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Category: Film & TV

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