Clintus' Review of Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas is an epic adventure that ultimately fails under the ponderous weight of its ambition. Trying to weave a thread between different people and different eras both in history and the future using the same actors throughout, this film strives desperately to be clever and important. I found the device using the same actors in different eras to be distracting, although Tom Hanks was certainly adept at a wide range, and the man dressed as a nurse in the asylum was frightening! Mostly though, I struggled to connect the pieces and found this film as the Rolling Stone critic described, "disconnected."
The movie's theme concerns fighting the future, that the future isn't predetermined and those seemingly small details in one era are picked up in subsequent eras. I, however, don't believe that we are moving inexorably toward a "soylent-green" type totalitarian future- unanimity by force and genetic design. I also don't buy the proposition that corporations are evil, and we must depend on muckraking journalists and conscientious bureaucrats. Cloud Atlas features some moving performances, but its didactic theme and epic scope undoes it for me. It tries too hard to be visionary, both in visual and literary senses, but it succeeds in being a $102 million conspiracy theory.