Troy reviews

The Drama

Cloud Atlas

By Tom Tykwer, Tom Hanks, Lana Wachowski

brain ratingGood


"Endlessly artful big-budget experiment at combining 6 stories with the same characters playing themselves in past lives. Packed with highly important themes. Unceasingly gorgeous. Worthy of study for any filmmaker. Great music. Takes a long time for the 6 different story-lines to sort-of converge. The film is at turns beautiful, tedious, frustrating, fun, and violently scarring. It does grow on you, and eventually all makes a kind of sense, but it takes a lot of concentration. Reminiscent of Memento and Brazil, cubed. This is innovative storytelling, but the viewer sometimes wishes for more powerful links between the story lines. Cloud Atlas is a tremendous step toward modern storytelling that finds new and more powerful ways to tell one story in some sort of continuity [but not necessarily temporal continuity.] In this case, I felt that the continuity between the 6 stories was sometimes too arbitrary and not strong enough. And hanging the picture on belief in reincarnation poses a bit of a barrier for those who do not believe in reincarnation.
Cloud Atlas is like Dead Again mixed with 12 monkeys mixed with Gulliver's Travels mixed with Brazil mixed with some Monty Python mixed with Amadeus mixed with the Matrix mixed with Boys Don't Cry, all at the same time. Dead Again is a movie that used the past-life interaction concept in a much more streamlined and audience-friendly way. Cloud Atlas is like what Dead Again might have been like if Kenneth Branaugh dropped acid and got an unlimited budget. Certainly recommended for film-makers."
heart ratingOK


"It is pretty, innovative, and exceptionally brilliantly filmed, but it's choppy. At times the filmmakers overestimate the ability of viewers to follow the storyline. Fun to watch Tom Hanks and the other actors play all those different people. And it was obviously fun for Tom. A fun exercise for the actors. The movie can't seem to figure out what it wants to be. It's funny and sweet at times, then dreadfully violent, then pornographic.
Cloud Atlas is an unabashed pro-reincarnation polemic, and probably should have just been called "Reincarnation." It strongly pushes the idea of reincarnation and - the movie depends almost totally on your buying into past life theory.
You are presented with the idea that if you make a mistake in this life you can just shoot yourself in a bathtub and pop out through another life-door. I feel like that's a very dangerous untruth. Instead, we believe that death is a doorway to a judgment in which those who somehow share the divine eternal nature of selfless love are separated from those who are selfish meat. "


out of 10

Cloud Atlas on Wikipedia