‘Cloud Atlas’ Spoilers Discussion

Published 2 years ago by , Updated June 4th, 2014 at 10:09 am,

Hugh Grant Cannibal Leader in Cloud Atlas Cloud Atlas Spoilers Discussion

While our readers are already talking about this movie in the comments section of our Cloud Atlas review, this is the place where you can discuss Cloud Atlas spoilers without concerns about ruining the movie for people who haven’t seen it yet.

If you’re posting comments here, assume that anyone in the conversation has seen the movie – if you haven’t seen the movie, we would recommend you don’t read the comments here until you have.

We’ve set up a poll below where you can rate Cloud Atlas for yourself. Other than that, feel free to discuss the film and all its surprises!

[poll id="426"]

For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors check out our Cloud Atlas episode of the SR Underground podcast.

Cloud Atlas is now playing in theaters. It is Rated R for violence, language, sexuality/nudity and some drug use.

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  1. i have been trying to figure out this movie, and as i can realize is ,a move about as living in corrupted system, and that we are making the decision every day , will this be the way i will live or will i stand for my self and my future, and not let someone else to dictate my life, and for the love story in the movie is not all about love is about group of people how are constantly fighting for there better life and ours or something like that.
    but it also tells that we are all closely connected and that there is a invisible string combainig as no matter what.

    • Yes; it is about exploatation of human beings by other humans for private benefits. It is about controlling people, and ways and tools of controlling people through the time. It also shows how subtle and how absurd that controll can be (composer and retard hospital).

  2. Recently watched Cloud Atlas online. (For those of you who are cheapskates like me, there are already bluray/dvd rips somehow, even though the movie has not been released on bluray or dvd.)

    Anyways, I thought it was awesome. The visuals were beautiful and the movie was very thought-provoking. This is definitely the most I’ve thought about a movie since Inception ;) But I’m still a bit confused about a lot of the movie, and I’m not sure if I’ll fully understand it.

    1) So each storyline has a character with the comet-shaped birthmark. Jim Sturgess in 1800s, Ben Whishaw in 1930s, Halle Berry in 1970s, Jim Broadbent in 2012, Doona Bae in future, Tom Hanks in dystopian future. Each of these characters is the protagonist in each of their storylines. I assume that the birthmark hints that it is one soul, reincarnated in these six characters.

    But if that’s true, my question is, what’s the deal then with having the same actors show up in each storyline? Is it just as a cool shout-out? Are all the characters played by one actor actually one soul, reincarnated in each storyline, in which case the birthmark people are NOT reincarnated souls? Is it somehow both?

    I’m just trying to think it over in my head, with each character played by one actor as one soul, but I don’t really get it. I realize that Hugo Weaving and Hugh Grant always play negative forces/antagonists, and that Jim Sturgess is usually some kind of proactive instigator for the masses. I also realize that Halle Berry develops from a native woman all the way into the advanced being she is in the dystopian future, and her arc seems to rise throughout time. Tom Hanks, on the other hand starts as a villain, is a random hotel-owner, is a good guy, then becomes a murderer, and is finally a good guy again, albeit a conflicted one. Also Jim Broadbent goes all over the place.

    I also heard somewhere that Tom Hanks’ character is inherently bad, but becomes good when associated with Halle Berry, and that’s kinda cool, because it actually makes sense. In the 70s and the dystopian future, that’s definitely true, and in the 1800s he’s bad, as Halle does not interact with him. And most telling of all, he catches a glimpse of her in 2012 and seems tempted to go and talk to her, but ends up choosing not to and instead kills a guy.

    2) I was a bit confused as to how the narrative passed from the 70s to 2012. I realize that the connection from the 1800s to the 30s was the diary, from the 30s to the 70s was the letters, from 2012 to the future was the movie about Jim Broadbent’s character (forgot his name), and from the future to the dystopian future was the whole religion based on Sonmi, and the video clip of her speaking. But what exactly was the connection between the 70s and 2012? Was it something with Jim Broadbent reading Halle Berry’s book? Did she write a book?

    3) I may be analyzing it too much, but is there any significance to the location of the birthmarks? It was different for each character. I was wondering if maybe it related to where a different character got killed. Example: Tom Hanks has his birthmark at the back of his head, and Ben Whishaw blew his brains out, so he had a wound at the back of his head. Jim Broadbent had his birthmark on his leg, and Halle Berry in the dystopian future was shot in the leg. Or is it just a coincedence?

    4) What exactly is the mistake that each storyline keeps on making? Is it just dominance over your fellow man? In that case, I guess each storyline gets it right themselves, without really needing help from the other stories (like Jim Sturgess in the 1800s). But I don’t know.

    I realize that this is a long post, but everyone who’s subscribed to this post has seen the movie, so you (yes, YOU) can offer your own personal insight. It will only take a few minutes to reply, and it would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi,
      First, Not English native so excuse my english
      My POW for some of your questions :

      1) I don’t think the comet’s mark on body refers to a unique soul, but more a sign that the character has a more important role to play in this time. Same body = same soul for me.

      2) In the train, Jim reads halle berry’s book. It’s the missing connection. (very quick, need to replay movie to read it)

      3) maybe…. don’t know but interesting pow

      • One thing, in the New Seoul timeline the girl gets her ‘birth mark’ when the doctor removes her collar I think

    • So lets see how much of this I can help you with.

      1) The purpose of the tatoo is to show you who is the soul that is to bring about change in that timeline. If you notice during the movie it happens to be the one with the soul that is the center focus of the story. Adam Ewing is the first one to change and the first one with the tatoo, Frobisher is the second, etc.

      The reason why each actor plays a character in every timeline is because it allows you to see their reincarnation in the next timeline, showing that everyone in some small way is connected, even if the character is simply a shopkeeper that is passed by without a glance. You also notice that some characters stay relativly the same throughout time, where as some slowly redeem themselves and some delve deeper into darkness. A perfect example of each character and their transformation or lack thereof throughout reincarnations is here: http://www.cinemablend.com/images/news/33823/_1351547825.jpg

      2) You notice Cavendish reads the book writen by Luisa Rey while he is on the train heading for the retirement home. Its very fleeting but its there. Every link is held by a Diary, Letters, a Novel, a Movie, a Broadcast, and in the end by the story at the fire.

      3) The significance in the birthmarks is only who has it, not where it is.

      4) There is no actual mistake ever being made by the characters, the whole purpose of the stories is that in every story someone makes a change that sends ripples throughout time, changing the future for those ahead of them. Ewing joined the abolitionists to combat slavery, Frobisher created a grand masterpiece that was almost all but forgotten, Rey uncovered a horrible plot to destroy alternative energy, Cavendish created a movie that ended up being liked by people for years to come, Sonmi helped inspire a revolution against the horrors done to the replicated, and Zachery helps save the remaining advanced humans by getting them off of Earth, which is too poisonous for them to live on (probably due to nuclear fallout, which is a likely explanation for the devolution and “poison”)

      Overview of every timeline: http://www.scene-stealers.com/wp-content/uploads//2012/11/cloud-atlas-infographic.png

  3. I have just seen this film, and I loved it so much that I went out to read reviews and comments about it. I must say I am surprised to see that most reviews are pretty bad. This one was actually positive. Seems like most reviewers realized that movie will be percieved well by the “common audience” and reserve themselves by saying somehing like “there must be something for you in the movie”. I find this just rude, unsecure and unprofessional by people who master writing enough to become reviewers but has nothing creative to aay and can’t understand or have no interest to understand what they are writing about.

    For me Cloud Atlas makes perfect sense. All 6 stories has clear connections, since they all talk about very same subject: controling people. The movie shows how people are used as slaves through different eopches of human history, and how humans are controlled through all times, but by different means and tools. Some control is very subtle and evilness of using others is more in-between lines as is case of old composer who is using young gay and jewish girl for his own comfort. Other stories are more open.

    Another thread in all 6 stories is money. Slaves, 70′s story about neclear plant about to explode and big corporation killing people is just a mirror of your times. So is also 2012 and home for dement people. It shows how difficult it is to escape controll and slavery. But it also shows that world can changed and justice can be undone if you take control in your own hands. The futuristic story is yet another take on slavery and corporation treating human beings as nothing but meat. Maybe a little bit too-exagerated, but it probably is showing desperation that authors feel about society and where it is going today.

    Mad Max world is there to show you that witout any kind of organized society humans are left to a total anarchy where stronger can literally eat weaker. That story line is also there to show that sometimes intervention of outside is justified (even if I don’t really agrre on that message).

    I don’t think there is anything unnecessary in the movie beside maybe few effects and maybe some make up.

    No, the movie is not about soul reincarnation and stuff like that. It is about human being opressing each other for their private benefit, and if we don’t take fight, there is nothing that will stop exploatation. The futuristic part of the story is maybe a message that if society does not change in time; it will not be possible to change it later, and that the greed might take out whole civilization.

  4. By the way, I am not english speaking person, so please don’t mind my spelling misstakes or some awkward constructions I might have made.

  5. Absolutely loved the movie.

    One thing I don’t quite understand though is, if the same actor is the same soul, why does Hugh Grant appear as the nuclear mogul in US in the 70s, then as the aging brother of Canvendish in current day UK?

  6. I just saw the movie last night on HBO, and I have to say imo, it is very thought provoking and original in the way it presents its stories. It can be overwhelming in terms of characters and stories that one needs to keep track (much like Games of Thrones in that regard), but if you have the patience and give it the attention it deserves, it can leave you thinking about alot of aspects of life…….funny thing is that before I saw it on cable, I did not hear much about this movie during its theatrical release.
    If you like movies that are thought provoking, it is definitely worth a try (just be patient for the first hour, while the six stories start to unfold).