Tuesday, October 30, 2012
“Cloud Atlas” Review
(warning: general spoilers below)
This past Friday I went to the premier of the movie Cloud Atlas, not really knowing what to expect, except that it was a movie spanning several “lifetimes” (having seen that in the few previews and from the one friend that I had talked to about the movie). I did know that it was a three hour movie.
The movie starts off with Tom Hanks sitting as an old man talking in some weird language, then segues to 1849 where you see a “younger” Tom Hanks digging in the sand of a South Pacific island beach. The movie stays there for a few minutes to introduce you to another of the main characters, before shuttling you off to 1930’s London, I think, into the bed of a pair of men, post-coitus, and you realize that one of the men is the “same” man that Tom Hanks was talking to on the beach in 1849. This is the way that the movie begins, weaving its way thru several hundred years, introducing you to six different story lines. Each story line focuses on two characters which would invariably tie into another storyline later. 1849 South Pacific ties into 1930’s London, 1930’s London ties into 1973 San Francisco, 1973 San Francisco ties into 2012 London, 2012 London ties into 2144 Neo Seoul, and 2144 Neo Seoul ties into old Tom Hanks’ time.
I don’t want to give too much away, since I was accused of doing that in my last review, but the main characters are a doctor and his patient (1849), a master musician, his apprentice and his lover (1930), a magazine writer and a corrupt organization (1973), a publicist on the run (2012), a created being, her lover, and her captor (2144), and a group of post-apocalyptic refugees living in the jungle trying to survive.
The movie itself was well written and directed, but I do have to say that I was a little confused due to the jumping between time periods. But after a while, the story telling mechanism begins to make sense, when they went back to 1849 after seeing “old” Tom Hanks’ again, and then on to 1930s and so on. You find yourself drawn into the movie and began to see the story lines begin to meld together, and even begin to see the people that were the same thru the timelines. When the movie ended, I could not believe that three hours had passed and that it was over. I was completely enthralled in the plot, and plan on getting this movie when it comes out on video just to watch it again to make sure that I had not missed any important plot points.
As the movie progressed there was a bit of language, sex, and nudity (both male and female), which I cannot downplay so it may not be for all ages. In fact, the first swear word was the “F” word dropped by Halle Berry, and it was not the only time it was used in the course of the movie. But, the movie did not have too many swear words in it (15-20 total for a 172 minutes) and 3 sex scenes, plus 4 different nudity scenes (including the sex scenes) .
In all, this was a very good movie, well worth your time, and may be something to use for a study in human behavior, as it does explore it in depth. As I mentioned, it would not be for the young (under 10, because of the language and nudity, and the small bit of violence that was shown), but it would be ok for all others as long as a parent was there to explain what was going on or fast forward thru the nudity and sex. Definitely am going back for seconds on this one.
Family Friendly Language: 8.9/10
“Family Friendly” Violence: 9.0/10
Nudity/Suggestive Situations: 8.5/10
Overall Rating 9.1/10
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As always, be kind, please rewind, and remember two wrongs may not make a right, but three rights always make a left.