By Claire Ala
For 172 minutes I couldn’t take my eyes off the big screen. Cloud Atlas (2012) is the best movie I’ve seen in awhile. Six stories are creatively connected to make one mesmerizing film with a lasting impression. It’s an adventure with sci-fi, romance and comedy thrown in for good measure. Stories from the past, present and future are magically intertwined using a slew of characters but few actors.
Look out for big-name movie stars like Tom Hanks and Halle Berry because they each play six different roles alongside Jim Sturgess (from Across the Universe) who plays seven characters. The make-up and costumes are fantastical … I’m still wondering how long it took for each character’s transformation.
You’re probably curious to what the stories are about. Basically, there are six people living in very different times, but the universe connects their lives to each other in the strangest ways such as a comet-shaped birthmark or personal conflict like choosing to do the right thing despite the consequences. I appreciated how an equal, descriptive view is skillfully provided for each story. I actually ended up growing attached to a few characters just by seeing the strong performances expressing sadness and frustrating struggles.
Characters go against societal expectations to fight for their beliefs or loved ones. Their actions not only make a significant impact on each other, but on the future. Interesting characters are accompanied by stunning visual effects.
I found the futuristic worlds to have the coolest special effects, especially in Neo Seoul. The future’s technology was far beyond our society’s capabilities. I found myself wishing for the techno-savvy gadgets like the handheld device that changed a room’s interior by the click of a button. The future setting’s fanciful innovations put the new iPhone to shame.
Despite my love for most of the film I thought the beginning was a bit slow, but this could be due to my impatience. The film begins with an elderly man muttering an old story. Eventually the scenes introduce the cities and time (in years). If you’re not paying attention to this part or to the details throughout this movie you might get confused.
Although the events jump back and forth between the individuals I found the crafty editing more entertaining than a nuisance. The scattered storytelling isn’t difficult to keep up with if you like attention to detail and notice the similarities shared by the characters.
The engaging stories are thrown together through time creating one comprehensive alluring tale. Stay for the credits because it’s astonishing to see the variety of roles that each cast member played. I suggest that you put Cloud Atlas on your watch list ASAP; you will be amazed.
4 of 4 friends said it was worth their time.