MESSAGE IN THE MOVIES
Photo By Warner Brother's Pictures
Directed by Zack Snyder. Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams
This summer the screens are filled with robots, monsters (good and bad) and other amusements to pass the time. While some of these films are certainly entertaining, it’s a fast food diet with little food for thought.
Which brings me to Cloud Atlas, an ambitious film from late 2012 that received mixed reviews and terrible box office when it played theaters but which is finding a large audience through DVD rentals and streaming services. When people ask me to recommend a film these days, I will first ask them if they are willing to give a 3-hour movie a try. If they seem game, I suggest Cloud Atlas.
Based on a remarkable 2004 book by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas tells six interconnected stories that begin in 1849 aboard a merchant ship and continue through 1930s Great Britain, 1970s America, Present-day Britain, future Korea, and post apocalyptic Hawaii. The novel told these stories in six different literary styles and moved forward into the future one story at a time, only to then move backwards in time in similar fashion.
Cloud Atlas the film chooses to jump all over time, backwards and forwards, as the tales weave in and out of one another, often with amazing editing cuts that replace one composition with a similar vision, often in a matter of seconds. And then, if that weren’t enough, the cast of actors play different roles in the various stories, sometimes hidden under makeup, moving from major to minor parts.
Without giving away too much, the basic journey of Cloud Atlas is a spiritual one in which each generation learns to find ways to choose freedom over oppression, as sacrificial and risky partnerships are forged. The possibility of a higher power at work in the universe is implied, and there is always hope.
The movie is a mashup of many genres including science fiction, satire, suspense, romance, and comedy. Lana and Andy Wachowski wrote and directed three of the stories, with Tom Tykver writing and directing the other three. Only after every part was finished were they edited into a whole.
Cloud Atlas is one smorgasbord of a movie feast, made with passion and commitment from everyone involved. The acting is uniformly good, especially from Jim Broadbent, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. It is one of the best films from last year and certainly worth a viewing
Four halos: A challenging but ultimately uplifting film epic.
Three pitchforks Some nudity and a brief scene of lovemaking; occasional strong swearing; violence.
Rev. Bruce Batchelor-Glader
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