Cloud Atlas (2013) – Movie Review

I haven’t done a movie review in a while, but we saw Cloud Atlas the other night and I have to say, it is definitely worth a quick review.

Cloud Atlas is an intriguing movie by the Wachowski’s that definitely is not going to be for everyone.

It has a series of plots set in different times that all weave together to form the whole story. To start with it can take a bit of getting your head around, especially when the same actors feature in multiple time periods, but after about 30-45 minutes I found I was following them and engaging with them all fairly well. That seems like a while, but the movie itself is 172 minutes long, so it’s not short by any means.

The plot is a lot to go into, but it starts in the very distant future, with Tom Hanks introducing the story. We are then taken back in time and cut from scene to scene from 1849 to 1936 to 1973 to 2012 to 2144 to 2321 and then back even further into the future to where we started where Tom Hanks finishes the story. I’m not going to go into all of the different plots, Wikipedia already covers it, but the essence is that each story impacts on the next, they all relate and intertwine, even the big jump from 2012 to 2144 and to 2321. It’s all about how the events of one life can affect another.

It actually reminded me a lot of Michael Ondaatje’s “In The Skin of a Lion”, the way the plot spread over time and across characters that impacted each other. In many ways, similar Marxist themes could be taken from Cloud Atlas as well. I’m not going to go into that though.

As you would have gathered, Cloud Atlas is based on a 2004 book by David Mitchell, I think I’m going to have to find a copy and give it a read if I get time. Editorial Eyes has put together a read along on it that is quite interesting and gives more insight into what it is all about.

So in all, if you are up for a movie that keeps you on your toes and doesn’t ever feel like it’s dragging, despite being almost 3 hours long, Cloud Atlas is a good pick. I’d actually really love to do an in depth analysis of it after I read the book, but sadly I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Check out the trailer below: