In 1999, the Wachowski siblings came together to release what is perhaps one of the most memorable films of recent time, “The Matrix.” Now the duo has teamed up again with their adaptation of David Mitchell’s novel “Cloud Atlas,” which succeeds emotionally and technically.
The plot is a mix of six different stories that all overlap. Each story takes place in a different location and period of time and is linked to the others through subtle hints such as a similarly shaped tattoo on at least one character from each. The stories follow several characters from different backgrounds, including a lawyer in the 1870s and a goat herder in the distant future, with the other stories taking place in varying time periods in between.
Aside from the subtle hints, another commonality the stories share is the actors. The cast is an excellent group, playing different parts in each of the stories. Among the group of actors are standouts Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, who both shine in their various roles. Hanks is especially impressive with his versatility, as each of his characters not only has a different look and vocal accent but also has an entirely different feeling to him. Every role is performed so masterfully that the audience will often forget that they are indeed played by just one actor. Berry likewise proves to be memorable while playing so many different characters and is even more unforgettable through the brilliant emotion she employs in some of her more dynamic characters.
“Cloud Atlas” also succeeds with stunning cinematography. Frank Griebe and John Toll’s camera work create scenes that feel accurate to their respective settings. In scenes that take place in the ruins of the world after the fall of society, remnants of civilization are seen in the grim scenery.
Overall, “Cloud Atlas” comes together to create a film that is truly magnificent. The acting, story and beautiful technical work all blend together in a powerful way that will leave audience members feeling as though they have been taken on a captivating journey.
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Directed by Lana Wachowski, ‘Cloud Atlas’ takes six plotlines and weaves them together to create “Cloud Atlas.”