A close to 3 hour (!!!!) experimental, ambitious love-it or hate-it epic about reincarnation with six disjointed stories and some actors playing multiple roles
I have to say flat-out, I was wtf’ing for at least 2 hours into this film before I finally “got” wtf was going on. We’re talking six separate stories spanning 500 years (some in the future) . There’s no linear storytelling. It jumps from period to period .
With a stellar cast including Tom Hanks , Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant and Jim Sturgess, these characters are , at times, unrecognizable. The actors not only change roles, sometimes they change race. Sometimes they switch genders. Some are positively jarring- like Hugo Weaving as a Nurse Ratched wanna-be and Jim Sturgess as an Asian. At times the make-up is distracting, taking you right out of the film.
Definitely a visual masterpiece, “Cloud Atlas” is mostly just confusing. I haven’t read the book by David Mitchell but I’m told it makes you work just as mcuh as the film. Yes- this one is hard work. You can’t just sit back an enjoy.
“Cloud Atlas” has 3 directors , including the Wachowski siblings, who used to be brothers til Larry transgendered into Lana. So Lana, at least, is very much at home with transformation.
Basically,the theme of this film is how souls are reborn and renew their bonds over and over again. Oh yeah- and love survives.
The film gets an “A” for effort- there’s nothing out there like it. It’s a cinematic experiment. Me?? I was tearing my hair out in frustration. If you loved, loved , loved the “Matrix” and “Inception” , go for it. To me, it was a 100 million dollar mess.