Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cloud Atlas Review

Introduction: You may have heard of Cloud Atlas. It's that trailer with a small cast of great actors filling several roles in 6 stories spanning centuries of human history. You may have definitely asked yourself "What the hell does Cloud Atlas mean?" Well instead of doing nothing like you did I went to Wikipedia, the most reliable source on the internet, and according to the writer Cloud is supposed to represent something changing and ever shifting while Atlas is supposed to represent something constant and eternal. It's about changing the natural order of the world. It's about challenging parts of life that bind us and breaking free of them like slavery, persecution, prosecution, lies, and even institutions. Welcome to the cloud.

The Journal

A lawyer has just signed a slave labor contract for his father-in-law and is on his way home when he finds a self-freed slave on the ship. He is confronted with choosing the right thing or following the law. He chooses to care for the stowaway and even though they come from 2 completely different walks of life they become close friends. The freed slave even saves the life of the lawyer from a greedy doctor who has been poisoning him on the journey. When the lawyer arrives home he embraces his wife, burns the contract in front of his father-in-law, and writes a journal about his journey of self-discovery which is read by...

The Letters

Robert, a young composer working with the world's greatest composer, who is on the run from the police for being homosexual during the 1930s. He starts composing his own masterpiece but his mentor blackmails him into never leaving and Robert must make a choice between leaving and destroying his career or stay and continue working with him. He ends up shooting his mentor and goes into hiding finishing his masterpiece. His story ends with him having enough. Enough running for being who he is. So he shoots himself in the head. Gotta regular Ernest Hemingway over here! The thing is this story is told through letters that Robert has sent to his gay lover which are then read by...

The Article

An aspiring journalist in the 70s who must live up to the name of her legendary father. It all starts when she meets the gay lover from the previous story, now an old man, who is working for a nuclear power plant and wishes to give her information about a conspiracy. When he is killed by a contract killer she digs deeper only to be pushed off a bridge into the sea. After surviving that she gets up, teams up with a security guard, and totally pwns that killer in a really tense scene. Now that the truth has been revealed her neighbor, Javier, turns the story into a book which is read by...

The Movie

Timothy Cavendish, a British editor in 2012 (Represent!) who owes some gangsters a lot of money after their friend's book became a best-seller. Let's rewind for a second though, you see, a writer didn't like a criticism about his book and decided to THROW THE CRITIC OFF THE ROOF OF A BUILDING. He went to jail for THROWING A MAN OFF A BUILDING and because of the press his book became a hit. Anyways, Timothy goes to a place to lay low but it is revealed that this place is a retirement home for crazy old people. Classic. He befriends some other "prisoners" and they break out Senior Citizen Style. Just imagine The One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest mixed with Mrs. Doubtfire because HUGO WEAVING IS A FEMALE NURSE. Timothy then writes about this adventure and it gets turned into a famous Hollywood film that is seen by...

The Religion

An artificial human in the not so far future who has spent her entire life as a food server with no rights whatsoever but a growing curiosity of life. Then one day she finds that her owner has overdosed and a revolutionary asking to take her away. She must choose between staying and being killed for her curiosity or going with this stranger and living another day. She goes with him. This choice in and of itself shows her want to live and that she is more than a disposable fabricant (the name of her kind). Her relationship to her savior is the most interesting part of this movie as you watch her fall in love with him as her humanity grows and becomes more complex. She is then confronted with another choice; speaking out to the word or staying silent. After learning the truth of what happens to fabricants when they die (they get turned into food for fabricants) she decides to speak out. This choice leads to not only the death of her lover but of her as well, yet she is content knowing the truth has been revealed. Her words to the world are remembered for years to come and are even turned into a religion which is practiced by...

The Story

Barbarians in the distant future where our culture has degenerated but we still have the left over technology from previous generations. It is told from the perspective of a hallucinating shepherd who is giving shelter to a traveling scientist. The story is a flip of the slavery story as it is about light-skinned, superstitious barbarians being visited by dark-skinned, high tech scientists looking for a new land. Except the new land their looking for is a new planet. The Earth is dying and the scientist is trying to reach a satellite on top of a mountain near the barbaric tribe to trace a habitable planet. The shepherd takes her there where he learns the truth about his religion, but when they come back from the mountain they find the tribe completely massacred by another tribe. So what happens next? The scientist pulls out the coolest laser guy ever and f*cking pwns. She then takes the shepherd and the remaining survivors and go to the new planet where the shepherd, as an old man, tells his grandchildren a story that beings with... (go back to The Journal)


Cloud Atlas is a film that hopes to transcend things such as generations, gender, and even genre (The 3 Gens). You know what that means? Yupp, men dressed as women. Right off the bat you know this movie is ambitious as hell. Especially for an independent film. And you know it has won the Oscar for best make-up (even though it can sometimes get cartoony when you see a large nose on a serious Tom Hanks). I think the thing I love most about Cloud Atlas is the details. The devil is supposedly hiding in them and really make this film a pleasure to watch again and again as you notice things you didn't before. Like how the number 6 shows all over the place. That shows a passion that made me love film in the first place.