Quick Flick: Cloud Atlas
By Daniel Daw
In a world of shameless sequels and regrettable remakes, Cloud Atlas is definitely a breath of fresh air. Although based on the 2004 novel of the same name, the film is comprised of six intertwining storylines through actions of each of the characters. The film has an impressive ensemble cast – including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and Hugh Grant – with most of the cast portraying multiple roles the film progresses.
The six stories are as varied as possible, ranging in multiple genres, including adventure, mystery, thriller and even science fiction, and reaching out to multiple parts of the world, including England, South Korea, South Pacific and United States. The stories by themselves are not as fleshed out as they would need to be in order to satisfy films on their own, but the strength of this film is in its ability to intertwine and connect these very different narratives and how these relate to the theme of the film, which is that our actions do have impacts on those around us in the present and future.
The film is impressive and, at times, problematic, as many of the actors will portray three to six roles through the film. For the most part, the actors did a fantastic job in their respective roles, even if Weaving played a villainous character in each story. With the actors playing multiple roles that span age, race and — in two cases — gender, it is obvious that in some cases, casting more fitting actors would have been appropriate.
Overall, this is a powerful film. Viewers will have to pay close attention to what is happening on screen, and it may require an additional viewing to catch anything missed the first time.