Cloud Atlas

I tell thee, I do not envy the job of the editor on this movie.

The Wachowskis are not known for being sympathetic with their viewers, often opting to confuse through a baffling combination of visuals and dialogue, one could be forgiven for thinking this a trademark stamp, as was experienced from both Matrix Reloaded and even more confusingly, Matrix Revolutions.

But you cling on, cling on for dear life. Not because we’re members of the Tom Hanks Appreciation Society, but because for some reason, even though we’re forced to play catch up for the first hour, we do so because frankly we’re captivated. Halle Berry had fallen out of favour with me since her appalling diva fit during X-Men 1 & 2 (I hold her responsible for the flop the movie became), but she has made huge progress and has won the lost favour again. Hugo Weaving returns to the Wachowskis again with typically menacing fashion, from cross dressed nursery home matron, to a 70’s assassin, he is suited in these rather typecast roles. Special mention must go to Hugh Grant for his 70’s suit, it’s fantastic, and Hanks as an Irish muscle man who disagrees with a critic by throwing him out of a 20th floor balcony, much to the shock of the guests at the accompanying cocktail party!

It charts six stories, all interwoven by the same actors playing different characters throughout various ages span over 100’s of years. The ideal, that our lives are interwoven, is explained in lurid detail, taking no prisoners whilst doing so. If it’s not the scenes, flicking from one era to another almost whimsically, or the english dialogue spoken by the natives which is peculiarly warped, then it’s the story that will surely have your head spinning until the end where the tapestry is finally woven together.

It is a startlingly beautiful achievement and is as epic a movie as can be expected as per the mesmerising trailers. The soundtrack is captivating, and in fact forms the basis for some of the back story, and the visuals are as breathtaking as they are shocking.

The world created by the Wachowskis in a totalitarian futurist ‘Neo Seoul’ is incredible, providing to me with one of the most believable and alluring creations I’ve ever seen. Frankly, this one single thread of this tapestry is worthy of its own film by itself and I’d pay to see that. Not only because of the set pieces, but the ‘Bladerunner’ story is told with verve and had me shivering from one reveal to the next.

Whether the brothers hit the mark and effectively get their message across is up for discussion. I figure a few more viewings for me before I can have the moment of epiphany and herald myself as a movie godking. Until the Bluray appears, I’ll simply settle for the great visuals, compelling storyline and an editing job that deserves an oscar in itself.

With plenty feel good moments, lumps in throat and hoorays, it’s a telling sign of the achievement of the movie that it can hit the notes so perfectly.

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