Another movie adaptation of a book I’ve seen. I appear to be drawn to them if I read the book or not. Most often I read the book before watching them, occasionally though it’s the other way around. That is the case here – I have no knowledge of the book and I watched the movie. It was awesome.
An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.
At first it was kind of hard keeping various storylines together and not become overwhelmed by them, but once you get the hang of the switches and start to see the red thread connecting them together this turns out to be a fantastical movie. It is obvious that it is based on a book since this kind of fragmented approach does not take kindly to movies (3 different timelines yes, but more than that – no. It turns messy, especially when time jumps are involved.). I was most intrigued by the Solmin sci-fi future storyline, which is also the one with the most action. The tribes and their technically more advanced visitors were the immediate second, although all parts are important. As a viewer I connected most with the mentioned two.
Sonmi-451: Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.
What distinguishes the movie is also the repeated use of the same cast in all timelines – it is fascinating to see them transform into so many different aspects of the same soul. I think Tom Hanks’ character is the one undergoing the greatest change: from a greedy doctor trying to murder a man for his money to a person who decides to save as many people as possible. Not without some help from a seer but he had to decide to follow the advice. I consider his actions as a manifestation of his free will. Hugo Weaving is brilliantly evil in all incarnations though I’m unsure how he became the green Evil George. I’m puzzled by that one.
Dr. Henry Goose: There is only one rule that binds all people. One governing principle that defines every relationship on God’s green earth: The weak are meat, and the strong do eat.
Haskell Moore: There is a natural order to this world, and those who try to upend it do not fare well. This movement will never survive; if you join them, you and your entire family will be shunned. At best, you will exist a pariah to be spat at and beaten-at worst, to be lynched or crucified. And for what? For what? No matter what you do it will never amount to anything more than a single drop in a limitless ocean.
Adam Ewing: What is an ocean but a multitude of drops?
This movie and book are dealing with the concept of slavery, freedom, kindness, greed, morality and on embracing a change for the better of all. It is a tale of the ups and downs of human evolution; of times when freedom and human rights mean nothing to a time when they are respected. Characters sometimes loose and sometimes win against the odds. There are many tragic fates, lost loves and dashed hopes to be found here, yet all is balanced by an unending stream of hope and love.
Somehow another connecting element gets woven into this rich tapestry and that is the symphony called Cloud Atlas. The tune is repeated several times throughout the movie, a sort of an immortal connecting element in the human psyche. At one point or another characters remark that they’ve heard the song before, or that things or events feel familiar.
This movie is worth your patience for it delivers at the end and leaves you with a feeling of seeing a truly amazing piece of art. Definitely a re-watch worthy experience – give yourself a treat and watch it.
Archivist: In your Revelation, you spoke of the consequences of an individual’s life rippling through eternity. Does this mean that you believe in an afterlife? In a heaven or a hell?
Sonmi-451: I believe death is only a door. When it closes, another opens. If I cared to imagine a heaven, I would imagine a door opening and behind it, I would find him there.