Cloud Atlas is like no other film you’ve ever seen. Based on David Mitchell’s 2004 novel, the film takes on the impossible – bringing to life a book which many doubted could ever actually work as a movie. Work it does though, and this moviegoer loved it. However, I don’t think that most moviegoers will. Why? The film, which falls a handful of minutes under three hours, requires your complete attention the entire time, and expects that you will pick up on all the little Easter eggs is has hidden for you.
Cloud Atlas has a complex plot which follows six different storylines. These storylines intertwine with one another through the past, present, and future as the notion is explored that every action we take has consequences on not only our own lives and not only in this lifetime. We witness a single act of kindness in the past that ripples all the way through time to start a revolution in the future, and the soul of a killer ends up becoming a hero… and that’s just barely scratching the surface. The same cast members appear in each of the stories, each time playing different characters. Why? It implies that the same soul is moving through time – constantly being born into different situations, different genders, and different nationalities. And this is the concept that truly beautiful. We’re all the same. What matters is not that you’re a man or woman… or that you’re black or white – It’s the good deeds that you do.
Cloud Atlas left me with a feeling of humbleness… much like the feeling you get when you’re in the middle of nowhere surrounded by a cloudless night sky. You realize how small you are, and how truly amazing the universe is. How incredible it is that we’re alive and capable of doing great things. Cloud Atlas makes you feel less small than the night sky does, but it’s a very similar feeling of inspiration. The notion that everything we do greatly impacts the course of time. It only takes one person and one action to start the ball rolling for a revolution. That’s a powerful thought, and when a film leaves you with that realization, it’s a remarkable accomplishment. Yes, we’re small, but we can change the world.
That’s why I loved Cloud Atlas, and that’s why it’s one of my favorite films of 2012. However, I also think that this is why the masses won’t accept it. It requires a lot from you as an audience member, and if you don’t mind that, then I think you will be just as inspired and moved as I was.
Bottom line, if you’re a fan of movies that leaving you thinking and questioning things days after you’ve seen them – then this is a must-see film for you.
Review By: Emma Loggins