Cloud Atlas

{4.5/5} “Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”

In the past a runaway slave asks a young lawyer to help him — or kill him. In the more recent past, an aging composer who hasn’t produced any new music lately is helped by a young musician. Decades later a journalist stumbles across a conspiracy involving the lover of that musician. A publisher made lots of money when one of his authors killed a man and went to jail — now the author wants some of that money. In the future fabricants (perhaps clones or androids) are second class citizens — one of them decides to escape. In the further future, after an apocalypse, a woman visits a village seeking a guide to a mysterious building on top of a mountain.

Cloud Atlas was released in 2012. It’s based on a book by David Mitchell.

The movie jumps back and forth between its many storylines, so watch it when you can devote it your full attention. It might seem a bit hard to follow at first but once you get going it’s all right. In fact, each storyline becomes quite interesting.

One storyline is funny — the others are more serious. There’s danger, mystery, and rebellion.

This type of multiple storyline adventure is difficult to do well — and it’s done very well here.

Like Star Trek Into Darkness (which I saw yesterday) it’s not quite a masterpiece, but I recommend it.

The music is by Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, and Tom Tykwer — the three worked together on the music for Run Lola Run and Three. It’s simple in the way that Clint Eastwood’s music is simple, but it’s got a great theme. I particularly like the track “Cloud Atlas End Title.”

Many actors play multiple roles. The movie features Tom Hanks (Larry Crowne), Halle Berry (X2: X-Men United), Jim Broadbent (Moulin Rouge!), and Jim Sturgess (One Day). Also joining them are Hugo Weaving (The Matrix), Doona Bae (Take Care of My Cat), Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking), and Hugh Grant (Notting Hill).

The movie was directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix). Tykwer directed three of the storylines and the Wachowskis directed the other three.

This entry was posted on Saturday, May 25th, 2013 at 10:46 pm and is filed under Reviews of movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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