CLOUD ATLAS an Epic Journey thru Time and Space! (Film Review)

Everything Is Connected

I’d been hearing about this movie for over a year now and I think like many others, were skeptical on the potential that Cloud Atlas could deliver. The Wachowski’s have had their fair share of hits and failures, but with such a wide range of talent on-board from Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Jim Sturgess and Halle Berry, which way would this film teeter? I loved the Matrix trilogy, I loved Speed Racer (and yes I still get flack for it), but this film that teased a mysterious journey of characters thru what seemed like pages of history, past, present and future, wet my appetite. Though little promotion and marketing really seemed to support it, I was quite excited to be invited to a Media screening a few weeks back, and well…I file this review. Click ahead to see what I thought about my escape into the Cloud Atlas!




Let me just say that no review will ever do this film the justice, this is a cinematic movie that MUST be watched, experienced and digested. Yes the film is close to 3 hours long, yes, there are many characters and several plot-lines, and yes you’d better pee and get your popcorn before it starts because you will not want to miss a single minute of it.

Based on the novel by David MitchellCloud Atlas plays out like a fine woven tapestry of inter-connected stories that I was quite curious on how they were going to pull off. Would it be like a Pulp Fiction or a Love Actually? Both movies that contain multiple story-telling elements and various characters who’s lives are inter-twinned as the story jumps back and forth. But Cloud takes it a step-farther…characters are connected in unique ways, sometimes one person is the villain of the story and another the victim, but then in another story the victim is the hero and the villain a woman. There’s no real rhyme or reason, well perhaps there is, but it’s not made clear, but it doesn’t seem to matter. The under-lining message seems to be that we are all connected, that we continue from one life to the next and maybe it’s reincarnation, love, fate or a larger purpose that brings us back into the presences of others who we’ve taken a journey with before. There certainly is a spiritual aspect to things, but it doesn’t over-power the vibe that there is a greater purpose, a destiny that all these characters are headed towards, whether it be for the good of man, or for it’s demise.


(L-R) TOM HANKS as Zachry and HALLE BERRY as Meronym in the epic drama CLOUD ATLAS


Whereas in some movies an actor is made-up into a role with heavy prosthetics or wardrobe, Cloud Atlas goes to the extreme and pushes, breaks and creates new boundaries for it’s cast. You lose count on how many good and bad guys Tom Hanks portrays, and then in some scenes you are cocking your head going…wait…who is that in that character make-up now!!?!? Men become women, women become men, the young are aged and the aged are made into women…and it’s easy to accept. Yeah the make-up at times seems a little over-the-top, almost too defined, but then others are so well concealed that you’re scanning the credits at the end going “That’s who that was!?!?!” One thing is for sure, the make-up is a true contender for an Academy Award and it’s evident the actors had a fun time in these varied and dynamic roles!

Tom Tykwer of course not only directed the other 1/2 of this film, he composed the music which is just as sweeping and moving as the film is. In the way that the film does not seem jarring when it bounces you back and forth thru the millennia, nor does the soundtrack which finds a way to connect to the drama, mischief or adventures that unfold as you are engrossed. From soothing and melodic to intense and foreboding, the score is as frenetic and fun as the movie itself.

I say this is an epic movie because the story-telling is big, though at times you really need to pay attention to details, and other times details are just glossed over, but the scope of the stories within the big picture are engrossing enough, but then to watch it all un-fold to see how it all connects in the end is what really is impressive. There is romance, deception, action, passion, comedy, remorse, betrayal, revenge, reward and fantasy and in the end you relish in the thought of knowing that it took 2  teams of directors working on opposite ends of the world telling a story full of heart that comes together into one giant colorful picture. I can’t even imagine the frustration, excitement and challenge that this film’s editor took on to put together all the pieces of this puzzle, but when it’s done, and the lights come up…you’ve returned from an adventure with characters who’s journeys and story arcs you find yourself a part of, and find yourself wanting to be a part of again.


(L-R) JAMES DARCY as young Rufus Sixsmith and BEN WHISHAW as Robert Frobisher in the epic drama €œCLOUD ATLAS


In closing, and I know my thoughts on this may be all over the place, but that’s what this film generates…thinking…I say if given the chance to experience a movie unlike any other, invest in Cloud Atlas. There were many people hard at work who gave 200% to deliver a complex story unlike any that has ever been told and may never be told again.


Check out the Cloud Atlas Extended Trailer:


Check out the Cloud Atlas Extensive Behind the Scenes featurette:



You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “CLOUD ATLAS an Epic Journey thru Time and Space! (Film Review)”

  1. […] Chase, Beyond the Marquee: “Let me just say that no review will ever do this film the justice, this is a cinematic […]

  2. […] Brothers has recently released the trailer for the 5/14/13 Blu-ray release. It’s one of our favorite films of the year here at Beyond the Marquee and we all can’t wait to own it, pre-order the film […]

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress