Ahsan's Review of Cloud Atlas
A three-hour investment to watch a film that has generated ridiculously bad reviews from most of the major critics is such a risky decision especially when the film has also failed at the box-office meaning that not even the audiences have liked the film. BUT! Cloud Atlas is much more than that. This is not a child's play to incorporate six different storylines in a single film especially when they all are so complex and their interrelation seems nearly impossible at times. Hats off to the Wachowski Brothers and Tom Tykwer for their tremendous effort by making a film whose novel is already complicated but the way they have executed the entire film is marvelous. I don't have words to describe how impressed I am with their work on this film, it is utterly excellent.
Honestly, at first, the film seemed like a disappointment to me, I was trying so hard to figure out what does all of it mean which was preventing me from the main purpose i.e. enjoying the film. But gradually, throughout these three hours, I started understanding what is going on and it finally started making a LITTLE sense. Of course, everyone has their own interpretations about the film but the real and common one is that "everything is connected, your past may affect your present as well as your future." This can be thought of like that every individual's actions in a particular storyline affects the actions of other individuals in the different storylines. It can be seen like a phase in a human life, in which a person is bad at first, then he realizes that he is doing wrong and then in the end, he finally stands up for what is right. But this explanation doesn't fit all the individuals' stories like Hugo Weaving, he is evil in all of the storylines and maybe it's because his soul never realizes that it is doing wrong. Neither does it fit Tom Hanks' stories because he is a bad, greedy guy in the first storyline and then he becomes a good person and after that he becomes a bad person again and then finally, in the last stoyline, he becomes a good person, which doesn't make any sense. The more you try to figure out the plot of the film and interpret it in different ways, the more you start finding different explanations of how it could be possible.
The film's brilliant (and far more more complex than I first thought) storyline is supported by phenomenal performances by the entire cast members. Every single one of them has played his/her roles wonderfully and that is also supported by the factor of beautiful make-up and styling to completely adapt them in their respective roles in different storylines. It completely blows you away, you can't even recognize that there are the same individuals in all of the storylines. Visual effects are great and so is the cinematography. Screenplay is really clever, because I have been reading that it varies from the novel and inverts the ending of all the storylines and it still has been incorporated properly and doesn't seem wrong. I might not read the novel because if I do, I'd be confused again and I don't want that.
This is really not an all-audiences film, most of the people are not liking it because of the complications in the storylines and the confusing narrative but what it actually demands is your complete concentration because without it, you cannot understand what the real message and the purpose of this film really is, what exactly are the Wachowski Brothers trying to deliver to us, why did they choose to make this movie. All of the questions are answered if you watch the movie with complete attention and remember everything from the beginning until the end, it is really important.
Cloud Atlas is easily one of the most complicated and daring films I have ever watched in my life. From the rough idea, you can guess that it would fail miserably but the Wachowski Brothers still made it for us because it is necessary to remind everyone what the real power of filmmaking is!