Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Cloud Atlas Review

Have you ever watched a film and thought to yourself What the hell was that all about?
If that feeling annoyed you then don't watch Cloud Atlas because, I assure you, there's a very large possibility that you will be saying that a LOT.
This is a film I've wanted to see ever since seeing the trailer. However, many years (and thousands of viewings) have taught me that trailers are not to be trusted. They lie. They even make bouquets of roses out of piles of poop.
Nonetheless, I vowed that if I could see Cloud Atlas I would take the opportunity. Well, at the moment Amazon have one of their 3 for £17 deals going and this was in it. So £5.66 a disc. Ok, for that I'm willing to give it a try.
Given I've got some chest pain at the moment (feeling much better by the way) I haven't been able to cross stitch, so yesterday was spent watching film. I started with The Great Escape (my all-time favourite war film), which I followed with The Diary of Anne Frank (the black & white Millie Perkins version).After that much war I decided that something ultra-modern was required so I popped Cloud Atlas into my blu-ray player.
In the first five minutes I was thinking I'd made a mistake. However, never one to give up on a film easily I put aside my first judgemental feelings.
I am so glad I did. This is not the first time that my patience (born from experience and a love of film) has paid off. There have been many, many times when a film has turned out to be better than it's first few minutes and this is a great example.

6 interwoven stories. Most actors playing 6 different roles. An amazing ensemble cast that are at the top of their game, giving some brilliant performances and one of the most challenging storylines I've yet to witness.
Not only does the film jump around in time from the distant past to the very distant future, but it also shifts tonally and in theme.
One minute you can be watching a comedy, then a Sci-Fi, then a touching romance.
At all times, though, the film is utterly mesmerising.
I found myself desperately wanting to know what happened to Sixsmith and Frobisher; what the hell was up the mountain that Halle Berry's Meronym desperately wanted to see. But, most touching of all: the fate of Somni 451.
Performances are sublime and the film is impeccably directed; with stunning visuals and acting. However, it's not perfect. There are moments when you feel they move away from one story too quickly or linger too long on another. Also, the devolved language of the distant future, while very good at creating atmosphere, is almost impossible to understand. I had to turn the subtitles on to know what they were talking about - but, I did find that for the final hour I actually understood what they were saying (my internal translator must have kicked in! :-) )
If you want to watch something a bit different. Something challenging but ultimate worth the effort, then I highly recommend giving this brave, unique film a chance!
Just don't try to stitch through it! You'll never know what's going on!
The blu-ray sound and picture are reference quality. If you ever want to show a friend what blu-ray can look like then this is the film to show them (this and something old like Gone With the Wind or Ben-Hur)
I didn't watch all the extras as it was a bit late, but the two short featurettes I watched were both interesting and informative. I did like the fact that you could watch them on a Play All function or individually.

No comments:

Post a Comment