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‘Cloud Atlas’ rewards the patient movie-goer

Movie review
By: Frank Miller, Special to The News Messenger
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“Cloud Atlas"

Directed by Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer

Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugo Weaving

Rating: Five out of five stars

 

 

 

Those who decry the lack of originality in Hollywood should take time to savor and enjoy all of the nuance and spectacle on display in “Cloud Atlas.”

The film tells six different stories, spanning vast amounts of time, with the same actors playing multiple characters in each of the tales.

The stories overlap and intertwine and the movie doesn't spend much time holding your hand and guiding you through the chaos.

However, "Cloud Atlas" is a film that will reward the patient and observant viewer. Since the plot is so dense, it would be futile to summarize it.

Its themes are easily recognizable, though, as the film unabashedly wears its heart on its sleeve.

Ultimately, it comes down to exploring the notions of reincarnation and how people's lives are eternally linked to someone else's, no matter what circumstances arise.

Even if you don't believe in that sort of philosophy, "Cloud Atlas" is immensely entertaining and a visual joy to behold.

The film offers up hefty doses of futuristic action, warm-hearted humor and some truly stunning performances. In particular, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry showcase why they're both among the best actors working today.

The Wachowskis ("The Matrix"), along with Tom Tykwer ("Run Lola Run"), have created a film that defies explanation and must truly be experienced to understand what it's all about.

The film runs nearly three hours long but I could have easily spent more time with each character, digging deeper into the stories and becoming even more wrapped up in those worlds.

The film will polarize viewers as it does not fit neatly into any one genre and will easily lose those unaccustomed to a non-linear narrative.

However, for the right audience, “Cloud Atlas” is nothing less than a work of immense talent that bursts at the seams with ambition, power and heart.


Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.