Friday, 5 July 2013

Cloud Atlas (2012) - ★★★★½

Directors: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Writers: David Mitchell (Novel), The Directors (Screenplay)
Stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Doona Bae, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Benedict Cumberbatch, Susan Sarandon, Jim Sturgess, Keith David, James D'Arcy

Cloud Atlas is without a doubt the most overlooked movie of the year. In my heart, I give this movie 5 Stars. It swept me away in a world of adventure, romance, sci-fi, horror, action and fantasy. I can't in all consciousness say this is a perfect movie, or rank it as high as films like Lawrence of Arabia. But trust me, it comes pretty darn close to achieving that level. It's an 'epic' in every sense of the word. It's so big, so beautiful, I get emotional just thinking about it. The acting is masterful, the music is among the greatest ever composed, the cinematography is stunning, the special effects astounding, the make-up is wild and amazing... this film 'enchanted me, body and soul.' 

It's really hard to try to think of a plot summary, so I'll just steal it from IMDB. "An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution." Long story short, what we do in our previous lives affects what we become in the future.

In Cloud Atlas, they recycle the same actors to play descendents across many generations. We see Tom Hanks as a scheming doctor in the 19th century, then as a nice nuclear scientist in the 1970s, then as a brutish Irish thug in 2012, then as a strange tribesman set god knows how many years into the future. Every single actor plays a million different roles. This would be dramatic heaven for them, and they all did an amazing job! I couldn't fault any of their performances. 

Doona Bae is stunning. She's a star on the rise!
The MVP of the film for me was Doona Bae, who displayed such powerful emotions. She was in the sci-fi part of the film, which was a bit like Blade Runner mixed with Soylent Green. Her powerful performance was such a highlight for me. Her character will stick in my mind forever. Jim Broadbent brought so many laughs! It wouldn't be half as enjoyable without him. I roared with laughter at his retirement home antics. 

Broadbent brings comic genius and a beautiful vulnerability to his character.
Ben Whishaw and James D'Arcy are also favourites of mine, who played lovers (as well as an array of different characters). They brought much of the romance into Cloud Atlas. Their relationship is so beautiful that I wish they'd make a movie out of it (but with a different ending). Halle Berry is a good actress, there's no denying that. This would have to be my second favourite role she's ever played: being an investigative reporter, a white seductive house-wife, and a crazy technological human from another planet.

Whishaw and Cumberbatch smashing porcelain in a stunning scene.
You know who surprised me the most? Hugh Grant! He was brilliant! Bloody brilliant! With a seamless American accent and a way with playing evil characters, he brought life to the film. I can't not mention Hugo Weaving though! He was freaking amazing too! He played the hilarious Nurse Nokes, as well as an assassin and an evil top-hat wearing green monster that was the conscience of another character. It all sounds so complicated, and it is! All I know is Weaving was one of the most memorable.

Hugh Grant shows off his versatility.

Hugo Weaving playing a reincarnated 'Nurse Ratchet.'
A movie this large in scale does not come without faults. While I personally found the pacing and editing to be perfect, the people around me were getting bored. One thing that was at times off-putting was the make-up. Particularly the 'asians' set in the future with their wonky eyes. Who's to say that people won't look like that 130 years in the future? Anyway... it just didn't look right for the most part. Same with Hugo Weaving playing a woman. I personally found the ridiculousness of his female character hilarious, bad make-up and all. Regardless, the make-up wasn't perfect. But for the most part, I think it was astounding!

I could ramble on for days about all the things I loved in Cloud Atlas. I will never forget it. It's the first EPIC film that has come out in a long time. Like I said, in my heart it's a 5 Star film! It's a little hard to follow but once you understand what's happening, Cloud Atlas becomes one of the most rewarding movies you'll ever see. It's amazing. It's amazing. It's AMAZING. Oh, and one more thing I forgot to mention... this is one of Tom Hanks' greatest performances!

1 comment:

  1. Benedict Cumberbatch is not in Cloud Atlas.