Personally speaking, I’m going to be watching the box office earnings of Cloud Atlas like a hawk. Not necessarily because I want to see the Wachowskis and their co-writer/director Tom Tykwer achieve a big win for themselves (not that I’m opposed to that outcome or anything) – but rather because I want to see just how much support a “different” and “original” blockbuster film gets (or doesn’t get).
Everyday, we here at Screen Rant are inundated with complaints from those around the Web who like to vent their frustrations with Hollywood’s so-called lack of originality (see: responses to the Evil Dead or Red Dawn remakes) – but as the latest featurette for Cloud Atlas goes to great lengths (literally) to argue, the film is attempting to give audiences something they’ve truly never seen before.
Based on author David Mitchell’s novel of the same name, Cloud Atlas attempts to tell an at once cosmic – and yet, very human – story of destiny, cause and effect, and the enduring power of the soul. Actors like Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Keith David and many others undergo numerous radical transformations to play characters that vary in era, attitude, race and even gender – in order to convey the idea of a soul’s evolution over time, and the bits that both change and remain the same as that process unfolds.
The film runs all of its various story threads simultaneously (rather than covering one epoch at a time in separate vignettes or chapters), starting off as a dizzying and somewhat confusing web that reaches thematic convergence as the threads between each tale (and the characters within) become clearer and clearer. If that explanation makes you go “Huh? What?” well… welcome to the world of newness and originality.
So far, the biggest points of interest about the film seem to be in seeing the Wachowskis – the sibling team behind The Matrix Trilogy and Speed Racer – returning to the film circuit (especially after Larry Wachowski was transformed into Lana Wachowski), and the controversy emanating from certain sectors over the race-swapping that the actors in the film undergo in order to play their various parts. The overall intent and thematic message that the filmmakers and actors articulate in this featurette’s latter segments has yet to gain significant foothold in the discourse.
Will all those people who lament the lack of something fresh in Hollywood turn out to support a movie that is attempting to do just that? Or will Cloud Atlas fail to achieve success, to the tune of the usual “Oh, it didn’t appeal to me for [insert superficial reason]” excuses – ergo re-affirming studios’ reliance on recycling used properties?
We’ll know soon enough, as Cloud Atlas hits theaters on October 26, 2012.
Source: WB (via Movie Clips)