movie review: Berry a joy in ‘Cloud Atlas’

Elizabeth Golden

Love transcends all boundaries. Love navigates through history. And most importantly, love is the greatest connector of all time. “Cloud Atlas” is a story about love. Throughout history, many diverse life forms have graced the planet. Although everyone has different dreams and ambitions, love unites us all.

The plot of “Cloud Atlas” intricate and  contains many different plots. The majority of the time the plot seems to be nonexistent. The film explores different universes while investigating how problems and consequences affect the past, present and future. Several situations are followed as their impact on the world is shown centuries later.  Villains become heroes, a single act of kindness saves millions from despair and a revelation.

The film is unusual in the way actors are employed. Each actor, with the help of incredible makeup artists, plays several different parts. Tom Hanks transitions from an alcoholic author to a futuristic caveman to a businessman and more. This is either brilliant or an elaborate scam to save money on casting. Regardless, the idea works. It’s interesting for well-known actors to take on separate roles within the same film. This  showcases the diversity of their talent.

Halle Berry also excels flawlessly with her evolution from a ‘70s style journalist to an Indian party guest to a futuristic space woman. Hanks has always been known for his range of talent, but Berry surprised audience members with her extreme ability to adapt to any given situation. Every actor proves to be a wonderful addition to the cast and shines in all roles.

Despite the film’s three hour run time, the majority of “Cloud Atlas” is piled high with suspense and doesn’t leave room for boredom. Some story lines, however, are more interesting than others.  For instance, the most intriguing plot revolves around a group of cloned workers in New Beijing. This group of women is raised to serve at a restaurant and will be killed if they fail to follow orders.  Doona Bae plays Sonmi 451 who, despite odds, was born with a mind of her own. She expresses emotions while the other Sonmi’s standby blankly. The story begins when she is rescued by Adam Ewing (Jim Sturgess) and is taught the ways of the city. Ewing’s kindness saved her from death and she manages to save millions from persecution. This storyline is heart felt and poignant.

Other stories were inserted for purely humorous reasons and fall short of entertainment while also lacking a purpose. With so many diverse plot lines, it would be nearly impossible to fully develop every character and every situation.

Born to the creative Wachowski brothers, who are known for artistic movies such as “The Matrix” and “V for Vendetta,” the film reeks of creativity and ingenious design. Blending together so many different stories would prove to be a daunting task, but with their directorial style, this risky ambitions film is pulled off.

With brilliant makeup, inventive directing and touching stories, “Cloud Atlas” is guaranteed a few Oscar nominations. Although all may not appreciate the film, the brilliantly blended mix achieves exactly what it set out to accomplish. With an “Avatar” type story and hints of “The Matrix” thrown in, this film proves to be an inspired concoction.

“Cloud Atlas” is one of those films the audience will either love or hate. Some will deem it confusing and an incomplete mess. Others will consider this film one of the best pieces of art created in recent years. This film is a mix of the two contrasting opinions.  A few stories are a grueling mess of unnecessary characters and unimportant plots, but the majority of the film focuses on issues that go much deeper than the overarching plot. These storylines focus on love, suspense, hurt and honor while fully developing interesting and entertaining characters.

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