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Cloud Atlas

Posted by martinteller on May 22, 2013

Tons of reviews out there already for this, so I’m just going to throw out some random thoughts, with no organization.

* Two words pop up frequently in reviews: “ambitious” and “messy”.  I agree with both, but it’s not as messy as I thought it would be.  The editing between the six storylines is actually handled quite gracefully.

* Soylent Green double reference… clever, too clever, or not clever enough?  I kind of groaned at it.

* Some of the makeup is absolutely astounding (I was shocked at a couple of entries in the ending credits) and some of it is absolutely wretched.  Whoever did Hugh Grant’s “Denholme Cavendish” makeup should be banned from Hollywood.

* I don’t know if the actors-in-multiple-roles thing adds enough to be worth the gimmickiness of it.

* The Wachowskis are incapable of seeing Hugo Weaving as anything but a villain.  Got it.

* Not a lot of subtlety going on here.  Pretty blunt and repetitive hammering of the themes.

* Despite the fact that it felt like the film was climaxing at the two hour mark, I didn’t mind the 40 minutes that came afterwards.  Surprisingly easy to watch.

* Tom Hanks as “Dermot Hoggins” is atrociously bad.  At least it only lasted a couple of minutes.

* Action sequences were brilliantly executed but got a little tiresome and started to feel gratuitous.

* Either Halle Berry is a better actress than I give her credit for, or I’m blinded by her stunning good looks.

* Even though I’m giving this a fairly low score, I didn’t hate watching it.  It’s a ballsy endeavor, for sure.  And at least it’s better than either Perfume or any of the Matrix movies.  I’d even give it another shot someday, but it left me thinking more about how impressive the production was than how the film resonated on any emotional or intellectual level.

Rating: Fair (69)


7 Responses to “Cloud Atlas”

  1. nancy said

    Thank you! I am dying to NOT watch this, and you just made it easier. I want to see the chick in the picture tho – was there enough of her to make it worthwhile?

    Halle Berry – it’s both! She’s better than you think, plus her beauty is blinding.

    Have you read Perfume? It’s one of my fav books. Very unusual. Movie sucked.

    • Bae Doona has an extremely prominent role in one of the storylines, but very very small roles in the other five. I would say if you’re watching it just for her, there’s not enough of her to make it worthwhile.

      I have not read Perfume (nor have I read Cloud Atlas, for that matter).

  2. JamDenTel said

    I’m really not sure yet what I think of this one. I agree with pretty much everything you say (although I actually thought Hanks as Hoggins was funny, just for how ridiculously un-Hanks it was), but I too am not sure if it’s just an impressively ambitious work, or one that manages to succeed as well.

  3. This is already one of my favorite movies. I agree with your final statement. It perfectly defines how I feel; a thank you btw! I never could voice to people just why I love this film. I will now be quoting you in the future. Indeed, I am more impressed with the production than how the film resonated. However, some parts do rise above the production, like the starstruck lovers bit and Halle Berry (she’s actually really great when she’s allowed to be). But great review, and it makes me happy to hear you say that you do feel like seeing it again.

  4. Anonymous said

    What does Cloud Atlas have to do with Perfume?

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