CLOUD ATLAS  movie review
December 29, 2012 · Print This Article
For the first hour, there is as much story as you can possible digest on screen in CLOUD ATLAS. It is an overflowing plate I let overflow without worry. I did not need to immediately and continually follow what was happening, I just let it. I can imagine if you did not then frustration might develop about wondering who is who and what is what. I did not worry about any of that, but rather just let go and let the movie flow. Thus, I found it to be an incredible movie.
I knew very little about CLOUD ATLAS before watching it, only that it covered multiple time periods and was some kind of sci-fi fantasy movie. I had no idea it would be rated R, so few movies of this type ever are, and I think that made a huge difference in how brutal and real it could be in its visuals. I did not know that the same actors would play 3, 4, 5 or even 6 characters. Sometimes it was obvious who the actor was, others I had no idea until the clever credits revealed who was under all that heavy makeup.
In CLOUD ATLAS basically all time periods, the 19th century, the 1970s, our present, the future 22nd century, and the far, far unnamed distant future are all in trouble and you may not immediately realize the order of the time periods as portrayed on screen, another one of the many clever elements of CLOUD ATLAS. I really liked the juxtaposition of the far future with primitive life and recent history. It all fit together for me and I was able to see the similarities between people of all times. They were all struggling fiercely for what they believed in.
Things become much clearer in the second act and how the story lines interconnect comes into focus. This allows the viewer to begin to digest the dense first act and it is delicious. What becomes apparent that the movie really is a series of love stories. The love several pairs of characters have for each other allow them to be revolutionaries, to achieve beyond what they thought they ever could. A romantic will really appreciate this aspect of CLOUD ATLAS and find the resolutions of all these love stories very satisfying in the third act, though the start of this act is perhaps the only slow or not that well-paced part of the nearly three hour movie.
As I wrote above, I did not care about being able to see all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted, with the only thing standing out a little is why exactly was Sonmi-351 fated to deliver the message of truth in the 2144 world? Why was she picked out? Other than that, nothing bothered me, and even that I was fine with, it was just her.
The action scenes in the 2144 future were fantastic and very well imagined. Really each time period was very well filmed and looked like a fully realized, rich world on screen.
CLOUD ATLAS will be in my top ten movies of 2012.