Written by Michael Davis
Cloud Atlas is arguably the most ambitious film ever attempted. Co-directed by Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski & Tom Tykwer, the film tackles 6 stories, with big themes throughout. The same actors play multiple characters in different eras, representing reincarnated souls repeating through time.
There are six seemingly unrelated stories taking place in time periods ranging from the 19th century to a distant post-apocalyptic future. They are all told continuously back and forth, occasionally aware of each other stories. Describing each story would be pointless, because they don’t matter individually. What matters is all of them together, and what they say as a whole at the end.
The entire cast is fantastically gifted, playing as many as 5 characters in a single film, many of them different genders, ages, and races. They’re helped by a costume and makeup department who gives them new faces that don’t bury their performances. Tom Hanks stands out as 5 different characters, and reminds us why he’s one of the bet in Hollywood. Hopefully this will lead to more of the leading role he deserves.
The three ambitious filmmakers have finally found a project big enough for all 3 of them, and have pulled it off marvelously. Each story comes together to create a very satisfying and intelligent emotional climax. Which some viewers will be put off by this unconventional approach to storytelling, the ones who aren’t are sure to be blown away.