Supposedly Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Ok, that’s what the original book was presumably about, but a good book does not always make a good movie.
A story where one soul is shaped by actions, positive and negative, in the past, and the deed has impact as it ripples into the future, would normally fascinate me. This movie, all two hours and 52 minutes of it, just bored me. I stuck with it, because I kept hoping something would happen that I could actually follow and “get.”
It never did.
The movie does not just “go through time” from the past, to the future, but it is chopped up into short vignettes, sometimes as short as a few seconds, other times as long as a few minutes.
Have you ever watched more than one movie on TV at the same time, switching away from one movie to the other when commercials came on and then switching back? Annoyingly, the commercials often line up, making that strategy unsound, but in the end, especially if the movies were not really heavy, you were able to pretty much get the gist of both of them. I hate it when I do that, but sometimes I do it nonetheless.
With Cloud Atlas, it was like I was watching five or six movies at the same time, but I didn’t have a button to switch back and forth, the movie did it for me. The same actors play different characters in the different time zones, making things even more difficult to follow.
Perhaps, if I mapped the movie, and watched it several more times, I might get something out of it. I found this map online:
This could be helpful.
But, no, thank you very much. Too boring.