Friday, November 2, 2012

Cloud Atlas Review

Once upon a time in 1999, the Andy and Larry (now Lana) Wachowskis were being heralded as visionaries and revolutionaries of modern cinema. Fast forward 13 years and it is quite arguable that their reputation has been tarnished. Many will point to the much-maligned Speed Racer while others will simply point out how they ruined their own masterpiece The Matrix with two sub-par sequels. While I agree with the former, I certainly disagree with the criticism surrounding the latter Matrix sequels.

In teaming up with Run Lola Run helmer Tom Twyker, the Wachowskis may have actually topped themselves in many ways with their latest film Cloud Atlas, which is one of the most ambitious films of the past decade.

It is extremely difficult to define or explain the concept behind Cloud Atlas. The film showcases six different narratives spread across hundreds of years. [Spoiler Alert] The first story portrays an eighteenth century sea voyage. The second portrays an early 1900s drama between an aspiring musician and an aging composer as they team together to compose a great masterpiece. The third depicts a 1970s mystery drama revolving around oil and energy schemes. In the fourth story we are brought to present day England where an older gentleman's attempt to runaway from a client's criminal siblings lands him in an equally damning nursing home. The fourth story jumps ahead hundreds of years to a Matrix inspired future where females are enslaved as restaurant waitresses and are fed the idea that they are not pure blood humans (even though they really are). The final story takes place even further in the future after the fall of civilization, which blends a tribal past with a science fiction future. During the course of these six intertwining stories, the film blends together a diverse canvas of film genres, themes, characters, races, sexes, and actors in an attempt to showcase the interconnectedness of human experience and existence. Continuing Reading

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