Cloud Atlas follows the lives of many characters in several different timelines, showing how we constantly impact one another throughout our lives in the past, present, and future. The movie features many actors playing different people throughout the movie. Amongst these actors are Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, and many many others. There are six stories you follow that span from 1849 showing aspects of slavery and eventually we get to 2321 following people trying to survive a post-apocalypse earth.
What Worked - I have tremendous respect for all three Directors, the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer for taking on this challenging film. The story itself is based off a book that many people said would be impossible to bring to life on film. The performances were really impressive, mainly due to the fact that we see all these talented actors playing different characters throughout one movie. In that statement lies one of the movie's biggest weakness which I'll talk about below. This really must be a actor's dream, to show off how talented they are and how they can play diverse characters. There may even an Oscar nomination for one or two of the actors in the Cloud Atlas, but don't hold your breath.
What Didn't Work - Cloud Atlas can be very hard to follow. Due to the fact that they constantly cut from one timeline to another without warning, causing some viewers can get lost and frustrated in this huge tale. While some of stories themselves were intriguing and enjoyable, others I found myself completely lost as to some characters' motives and to what was the point of the timelines. Possibly not enough time was spent setting up these timelines so the viewers could keep track of everything. Also as I mentioned before the performances were great, but you never get lost in these characters. You're always thinking that's Tom Hanks or that's Halle Berry, never do you think that's Dr. Henry Goose or that's Jocasta Ayrs. But granted it would've near impossible to get the audience to think of these characters in the other way. The movie is also rated R for some surprising violence, language and nudity.
Overall - Cloud Atlas is certainly a unique and intriguing watch. With a movie spanning over six different timelines you'd be hard pressed not to say it isn't intriguing as well. While Cloud Atlas certainly has its weaknesses, it should also be noted that the movie is very strong cinematically. Whether you'll like the film or not, its hard to say. There seems to be a wide divide between people who like it or don't. I personally enjoyed it and will probably buy it, if I see it at a low price. I'd say it would be worth renting, at least.
A Quote from the Movie -
Sonmi-451 - Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every we birth our future.
So what do you think? Dose Cloud Atlas interest you?