Art

Movie Review – Cloud Atlas

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18 January 2013, Singapore – You know that feeling…
Like you’ve been here before… but you’ve only just arrived;
Or you fall head over heels in love… but you’ve only just met;
Or you know you’ve heard this song before… but Taylor Swift JUST released that hipster breakup anthem…
That feeling of strange familiarity… could it be a symptom of a past life?

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That’s what Cloud Atlas would like us to ponder.

One movie, six stories; each story takes place in a different time and place, with little connectivity except for a character in each with a birthmark in the shape of a shooting star.

There is the tale of a clerk traveling to Polynesia, an aspiring composer who takes his life, a journalist on the trail of a nuclear conspiracy, a publisher trying to escape from an old folks home, a human clone created for slave labor and a post-apocalyptic world where humans talk gibberish.

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And also ponder what would Halle Berry look like as a man or as a white Jewish woman? Or Hugo Weaving as a giant Germanic nurse…

Each of the illustrious cast – Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Jim Stugess, etc – plays up to six roles in the film’s six interwoven story lines. One of the best parts of the film is at the end credit where they show each actor in their various guises.

The film is all at once audacious, daring, muddling, pretentious and frustrating. And manages to translate a book to screen in epic fashion. At almost 3 hours long, the film is also incredibly good value for money. Just remember to go to the toilet before watching.

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