If you’ve seen the awe-inspiring six-minute trailer to the Wachowski siblings and Tom Tykwer’s Cloud Atlas, then you shouldn’t need more convincing that this film deserves to be labeled a unique viewing experience. Nonetheless, today we have a new featurette boasting previously-unseen material from the final film, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with the cast hyping the project something fierce.
Cloud Atlas is an adaptation of the novel by David Mitchell, which is composed of six separate narrative threads that occupy different genres (historical, social satire, political-thriller, Asian sci-fi) and takes place in time periods ranging from the 19th century to a post-apocalyptic future. The events and actions of characters in each storyline have a butterfly effect on those that take place during a later time period, thus bridging the gap between them (well, in theory, at least).
The initial reactions to Cloud Atlas (as you might have anticipated, given that description) have been all over the board. Some say the film serves up little more than cookie-cutter philosophizing about the nature of human existence and lots of visually impressive, but emotionally hollow, spectacle; while others admire the massive scope and reach of the proceedings, arguing the flaws are insubstantial and do not detract from the fine technical craftsmanship (in terms of direction, performances, cinematography, etc.).
Few people – in fact, virtually no one – is claiming the film isn’t worth seeing, and most agree this is one movie that practically demands to be seen (if only so you can join in the larger debate). The new featurette only adds more fuel to that fire, as it teases how all six separate stories come together to form one overarching tale – but, obviously, without spilling too many concrete details.
Now, for those who’re just tuning in (and wondering why cast members like Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, and Susan Sarandon are each playing six different characters), one of the suggestions in both Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas novel and the film is that characters are the same souls re-experincing life throughout history, as people of different race and gender. So, as one example, Hugo Weaving plays a domineering female nurse in one storyline, as well as a refined English aristocrat in another.
You can decide for yourself whether that approach is so crazy it works (or, rather, does not) by checking out Cloud Atlas when it hits regular and IMAX theaters on October 26th, 2012.
Source: Yahoo! Movies