It would be easy to understand that even after you saw the commercials for this movie, you might say “what the hell is this about?”
But, forget all that – what a cast! Here we go -Tom Hanks,
To me, this looked like something about reincarnation. In fact, Tom Hanks ends up with six different roles. And, yes that is pretty much what it is.
The movie time shifts and character shifts from the 1800’s until far into our future, the theme is along the lines of “our lives are not our own, we are all connected…”
Of course, I said characters shift, but you’ll see many versions of Tom,
Yep, our oldest story takes us onto a ship at sea and a lawyer played by Jim Sturgess in an effort to help a slave. Our near last story is set in 2144, where a guy played by Jim Sturgess (yes, again) is trying to help another kind of slave. A fabricant – ah, that would be a robot. Our most future story takes place in what looks like hundreds of years later than 2144, and is our strangest, but it is supposed to tie most of this together. This involves another Tom living in primitive conditions and speaking what sounds like Middle Ages English, but another
All right – I’m already exhausted with that really brief recap. This is a near three hour movie and I’ve done shorter radio shows. But the good and the bad about this time and character shifting is that it does move along, since sometimes we spend maybe two minutes on a piece of a story and move on to another. That may frustrate you because you might sit there and be getting into the people, and whoosh, they’re gone for a while.
After about an hour of feeling that way, I settled in and found it less bothersome. What did still bother me is the feeling that I may not be “spiritual” enough to go for all this “karma” stuff. “Each and every crime and kindness is reflected in you rebirth”, or something like that. You get it? Because you’ll be hammered over the head with this as you watch our stars change outfits and age as they go through all the characters they end up playing. A few times it just looked like dress up time for celebrities. Poor Hugo Weaving – he couldn’t get it right in any life.
Maybe one saving grace is that one of the guys played by Jim Broadbent, and wouldn’t you know, the time period is 2012, has the story of just trying to break out of an old age home. This is the only lighthearted part of this very serious movie. As I said, there are mostly important historical issues covered here such as gay love, racism and slavery. Strange too, that most of the reincarnations have some pretty important work to do on earth.
Oh, as for “Cloud Atlas”, that is a symphony composed by one of our folks –not much else to say there. I could sit through the movie, that wasn’t the problem. It just didn’t “reach me”. I give it a “5”.