British author David Mitchell’s “Cloud Atlas” has been a beloved novel ever since its 2004 release. The book has won multiple literary awards and been nominated for numerous others. Now, this intriguing and somewhat perplexing book is headed to the big screen with help from the Wachowski brothers, who co-wrote and directed “The Matrix” films and many others good films.
What is “Cloud Atlas” about, you may ask? Well, it’s a complex story that takes six separate stories from different locations and times in history and weaves them together. The themes of human nature and the urge to prey on others are the most prevalent. We also see movements of ascending and descending, as well as humanities moral epiphanies and failings.
We have six separate stories that take us from the remote South Pacific Ocean in the nineteenth century, all the way to a post-apocalyptic future. All six stories are interrupted halfway through as we move onto the next event and set of characters, where in some way or manner then next story will hear, read, or see the second half of the previous tale and in the end they all get wrapped up and we end where we began. In the movie, the actors are recycled and re-used in different narratives and the idea is that all souls are re-born and reused on their way to happiness.
In this very first trailer, we start off in 1850 watching Adam Ewing (Jim Sturgess) an American Notary as he writes his account of his journey home from islands East of New Zealand. Then we jump to Belgium 1931 where Robert Frobisher (Ben Whishaw), a penniless young American musician, reads the account of Ewing until he comes to the end of the book which is missing the second half. Then we are see the correspondent of Frobisher’s letters being read by the then elderly Rufus Sixsmith (James D’Arcy) – the original recipient of the letters and implied lover of Frobisher.
Somehow, in 1975 Buenas Yerbas, Calif., Luisa Rey (Halle Berry), a journalist investigating a story of corruption and murder gets hold of the letters. We then have a few jumps we wind up in the early 21st century where a Vanity Press publisher Timothy Canvendish (Jim Broadbent) is on the run from some gangsters when he is captured and detained in a nursing facility. His story is eventually made into a movie dramatization of his story.
With glimpses of the meetings of connected souls we Dr. Henry Goose (Tom Hanks) and Luisa Rey, Jim Broadbent’s character with his long-lost love Ursula (Susan Sarandon) and then alternate meetings between the same people, but in different lifetimes. As we jump into a dystopian future in Neo So Copros (Korea), a genetically engineered clone named Somni 451 (Doona Bae) is being used as a server at a future café when she goes on the run, tired of her enslavement. She meets Hae-Joo Im (Jim Sturgess) who helps Somni try to escape her captors.
The final time and location the film takes us to is Hawaii in a very distant post-apocalyptic world where we have regressed after most of humanity died in the events known as “the fall” and a tribesman Zachry (Tom Hanks) is visited by Meronym (Halle Berry), one of the last remnants of a society that is still somewhat technologically advanced and they go on a journey together. Then, a flurry of scenes show more characters and connections as they flash before us, as voice-overs from many characters echo along with these illustrious images.
There is much more to this trailer, but I will let you uncover its secrets for yourself. With touching music, epic scope and a fascinating storyline that takes us on a trip across time, continents and shows us love, pain, life, death and everything in between, this is on my “Must See List” and it should be on yours, too.
Along with the many stars already listed, the film also boasts Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Keith David and many more.
So what do you think about this extended first look into the world of “Cloud Atlas”? Have you read the books or do you plan to before the film’s release on Oct. 26? Leave a comment and let us know.
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