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Review: 'Cloud Atlas' A Brilliant Film That Takes Us On A Trip Through The Human Soul

Two Jews On Film Two Jews On Film
October 26th, 2012 1:04pm EDT

'Cloud Atlas'

'Cloud Atlas' is a film that some people like myself will find absolutely brilliant, while others like John (the other half of 'Two Jews On Film') will feel just the opposite.

Some critics have already called it pretentious as well as an indulgent mess. All these varying opinions simply prove one thing. When it comes to movies, art, music, culture...it's all so subjective. Therefore, my suggestion is go see this film and judge for yourself.

'Cloud Atlas' (directed and written by Lana Wachowski and her brother Andy of the 'Matrix' fame - along with Tom Tykwe) is based on David Mitchell's best-selling novel of the same name.

The film spans five centuries and explores how the actions and consequences of individuals impact one another through the past, present and future. Characters meet and reunite, are born and reborn. Everything and everyone is connected.

One soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

'Cloud Atlas begins in 2346 and in 1849, 1936, 2012, 2144 and back to 2346.

The film is part action, mystery, romance, sci-fi, fantasy and even at times a comedy.

There are six stories and the actors including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, James D' Arcy, Hugh Grant, David Gyasi, Hugo Weaving, Ben Winshaw and the memorizing Doona Baein – all play six different characters and they are all extraordinary, transcending genders in some cases.

When the film begins we meet Tom Hanks, a one eyed goat herder living in post apocalyptic Hawaii and then in 1849 as an evil ship's doctor. In 2012, he's a balding skinhead who becomes a pop star after he throws a critic off the roof.

Two of Halle's characters are a crusading San Francisco journalist in 1973 and the last survivor of a lost civilization in 2345.

One of my favorite characters that Jim Sturgess plays is a robot warrior from the future living in New Seoul. He falls in love with a sexy, socially outlawed genetically cloned slave named Sonmi-451 (Doona Baein), who spends her brief existence as a compliant restaurant server. With the help of Sturgess, she gains enlightenment and starts a revolution.

I could write pages about this complex, intriguing, fascinating film but then why would you go see it? And to see it is a must. 

"Cloud Atlas' opens in theatres, Friday October 26, 2012 and I gave it 4 1/2 bagels out of 5. Check out our video to see what John thought of this film and what I thought about his critique and bagel rating.

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Photo Credits: Warner Bros.


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