Friday, January 11, 2013

In The Clouds Without an Atlas

I know this is a little late but in light of the Oscar nominations recently, I thought it was time to give my views on a film that had astounding box office buzz before it came out. 

“Cloud Atlas”, featuring a myriad of stars including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Susan Sarandon, just to name a few, has been on my radar for a long time.  So when it was finally released, I made sure to see it that same day.  Boy was I disappointed! For the first time, I had to fight to stay awake at the movie theater.  Sadness came over me as I watched, not because of some of the more melancholy story lines and not because I lost 3 good hours of my life.  Each of these screen actors are gems in Hollywood; award winning and critically acclaimed artists who, in some instances, are cultural icons.  How could their talents have been wasted so effortlessly?  What happened?

The film, derived from a book of the same name, had an interesting concept: Reincarnation.  It was a good idea to have the actors transform into different roles in different time periods but it really came off as a circus sideshow for make up artists and theatrical practice for the actors, and that's it.  I guess the director thought it would be cute and fun for movie goers to try to figure out who played who at the end of the film.  But like I said, I was so tired of the drudgery, I just wanted to run home.  Apparently I wasn't the only one who felt this way.  I watched the film in a theater in Manhattan where films played on the first night usually are awarded with applause.  Not in this case.  Everyone cleared out as soon as the credits started to roll.  Some even made their way out before. 

The film did have some good highlights such as the futuristic Korean plot.  I thought all of the story lines were thought-provoking in their own way but somehow they got lost in translation.  And interesting to note, although all of the stories intermingled, the more interesting plots starred the lesser known actors. Sorry Tom, Halle and Susan.  "Cloud Atlas" was one of those films that people resoundingly yell, "The end was the best part!" and "The book was better!"  If you have an opinion on "Cloud Atlas", feel free to comment.

In the Spirit of Oscar Season, Happy Theater Going!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Funny, I was so caught up in trying to decifer what language they would using in some scenes and how the reincarnated lives were so similar yet so far apart that I didn't have time to sleep. I must say that afterwards, i had only thoughts of where I may have been and maybe that was the point of the directors mish mosh of scenes.

Do we as humans really learn anything new or do we figure out new ways to do the same on thing.

I ponder and thanks for bringing it up.