Cloud Atlas is an ambitious piece of work that has six stories being told throughout history, ranging from the 1800s to the present day and two more in the future, one of these being after the ‘Fall’ or some kind of apocalypse. It aims to show how we are all related and how events in the past from other lives can affect actions in the present.
It’s really interesting as the principle actors all play different characters in the different stories, sometimes, they even swap genders. The main leads are Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent but there are some excellent supporting roles by Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving. Special note should be made to Doona Bae whose main role is Sonmi-351, a fabricant fast food waitress in the future, who triggers a fight for freedom. In fact, fighting for freedom seems to be the running theme. Everything is connected from a ship journal to love letters from a composer to espionage of nuclear power to a book publisher to a clone and finally to a new tribe. There are themes of love, loss, finding your place, rebellion intwining throughout.
It’s beautifully filmed and despite being nearly 3 hours long, is well paced. It’s one of those films that makes you consider your own life and contribution to life as a whole. I’m keen to watch it again and see how the stories touch each other again.