I may not know why, but I like Cloud Atlas

poster for Cloud Atlas I really like Cloud Atlas. I’m not sure why. I’m not even sure I understand it. But I know I like this movie. Maybe because I’m not sure I understand it all.

I mean, I understand the main point of it: the eternal quest for freedom connects all humans through space and time.

Squee1313 summarized the plot of the bookin an earlier post. I’m not sure I could do better about the plot of the movie. In the movie, the nesting stories can be both convoluted and simplistic. That effect is aided by the fact that the same, often marquee, actors portray the various characters in different eras.

Halle Berry at Cloud Atlas premiere by Tom Sorensen

Photo by Tom Sorensen

(Even though Tom Hanks and Halle Berry are among the most photographed people alive, it can be hard to spot them in some of the story lines.)

For a while, I thought the freedom fighters from one era were the freedom fighters in the next. They’re not. It was just my early, feeble attempts to watch this movie like any other Hollywood movie. Although, Cloud Atlas‘ main message is the stuff of Hollywood, it’s not the usual telling. What’s more Hollywood than “the urge for freedom cannot be denied?” Noble and ignoble freedom fighters live and die doing their part for the advancement of human — and humanoid — kind, sometimes seemingly just for their own advancement, never knowing their efforts would pay off. But the way this movie is shot, edited, styled… it’s not a movie you watch. It is a movie you behold.

I’ve never read the book. I’ll admit I went to see this movie because Roger Ebert’s review intrigued me. I don’t regret it.


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