Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
This week I present Cloud Atlas as a possibility for your viewing pleasure (2012, Rated R, Available on DVD).
Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, and a host of other actors each play multiple roles in this science fiction-y sort of film in which the impact of actions ripples across the ages. Six time periods and plot lines are explored.
I would not have given this movie a second thought, but fortunately lovely Rita from SoulComfort's Corner recommended it to me and told me how to prepare to watch it.
I am not a fan of science fiction, but I am a fan of interesting and unusual movies. Cloud Atlas definitely fills the bill. Because a sequence can begin in one time period and then move directly into another time period, the movie is a little difficult to watch. Rita told me to read about the movie on IMDB so I'd understand it better. She also suggested watching the closing credits first, so I'd know more about the characters and who played them. Rita thought I might want to watch the movie twice.
Because Rita's recommendations gave me some idea of what to expect, I didn't feel the need to watch the movie a second time in order to understand it, but some day, I'm sure I'll want to watch the movie again because it's good and I know I can get more out of it.
Rita said that Cloud Atlas might not interest me because it's about reincarnation, and I don't believe in reincarnation. However, I'm usually open to other points of view, so the thought of reincarnation as a plot point didn't upset me or freak me out. Then I watched the movie and told Rita that I thought it was about one of my favorite themes, the interconnectedness of humankind. I guess we each see what interests us and grabs our attention.
Cloud Atlas is magical and fascinating, but you have to pay close attention to it. You can't sew a button on a shirt while you're watching it, because in the blink of an eye, everything changes.
I didn't care for the post-apocalyptic scenes very much, and hearing Halle Berry say "true-true" in the kind of pidgin English the characters use for these scenes kind of annoyed me. I don't know why. It just did.
My favorite plot line had to do with a nursing home. No surprise there.
I think teenagers of about 14 and older could watch this movie with you. They probably would like the adventure aspects of the movie, and might enjoy spotting all the characters each actor plays. You could make it into kind of a game: Who can spot every character played by Tom Hanks?
As always, I recommend that you view the movie without your youngsters before deciding to let them watch it. Be prepared for violence and sexuality.
I don't know how the directors and writers and editors managed to make this into a cohesive film, but they did it quite successfully. Cloud Atlas earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval, and after a second viewing, it might earn The Highest Seal of Approval.
Robert Frobisher: And all becomes clear. Wish I could make you see this brightness. Don't worry, all is well. All is so perfectly, damnably well. I understand now, that boundaries between noise and sound are conventions. All boundaries are conventions, waiting to be transcended. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so. Moments like this, I can feel your heart beating as clearly as I feel my own, and I know that separation is an illusion. My life extends far beyond the limitations of me.
Infinities of love,
Sonmi-451: Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.