Cloud Atlas, 2013
dir. Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski
Did you see that? This film is so good, it deserves two extra stars. Absolutely amazing, oh my God.
Okay, let’s take a look at the cast, shall we?
Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Stugess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Keith David, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, inter cetera.
Of course, not all films with an amazing cast like this succeed (e.g: Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, etc) but what they don’t have is this incredibly powerful story provided to you by one David Mitchell on his original novel (not the comedian, in case you don’t know).
I’d very much like to explain this story right now, but I don’t think it’s explainable. It’s got so many parts and pieces that trying to summarise it would be futile. But as the poster says, “everything is connected”, and that is true. It’s a truth you don’t particularly understand until the end, but right then you are gobsmacked by how simple-yet-complex it is.
And you don’t have to believe in reincarnation to love it. I certainly don’t, but it still touched me. Seriously, I almost cried.
(fun fact: Natalie Portman gets a special thanks in the credits because she was the one who introduced the Wachowski siblings to the novel)
However, the two most important (in my humble opinion) parts of this film were the make-up/costume and the Cloud Atlas Sextet, which was composed by Robert Frobisher (Ben Whishaw) in the story, but by co-director Tom Tykwer in reality.
The piece is extremely potent. It is divided into six parts which each represent a part of the story. It’s delicate and simple, yet beautiful and obviously present. Once you realise it’s there, it’s all there is. Absolutely stunning. (and I must add that the Robert Frobisher part is one of the most heart-breaking ones to me, not only because I live in Edinburgh, but also because Ben Whishaw and James D’Arcy are superb in it)
The make-up, though. Incredible. They used the same actors in so many different ways that you don’t even know that they were there until the credits roll. Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving are especially tricky to place, mind you. And it looks so realistic, too! Without ever overstepping the actors, who are always more important. The make-up and costume are just unbelievable props used to tell this incredible story in this perfect way. Utterly beautiful.
So, if you’re just sitting on you bum, thinking about Glee, go out and watch this film. Then watch it again. And again and again. Honestly, I can’t recommend this enough.
review by Mariana Duarte