Review | Cloud Atlas (2012)

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Never seen anything like that before (10/10)

If you’re going to do something daring, do it big. That could be the Wachowskis’ motto for the Matrix trilogy, for their criminally under-appreciated Speed Racer and for their new adventure — an adaptation of David Mitchell’s 2004 novel — that tells six stories set in the past, present and future, with a core troupe of actors, including Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, playing different roles in each tale.

What sustained the filmmakers through the six dogged years of planning, financing, shooting and editing? The belief that if the impossible can be attempted, then it must be — and never mind whether it should be. The feeling persists that Tykwer and the Wachowskis made the picture to prove they could. Most viewers are likely to be impressed more by the magnitude of the effort than the magnificence of the effect. Cloud Atlas is a Terry Gilliam movie without the kinks, a Wong Kar-wai film without the smoky dreamscape, a time-and-Space Oddity that remains frustratingly earthbound. Put it another way: this is no Speed Racer. And it never achieves the weird wonder of Lana Wachowski’s enthusiasm for the movie in the moments before we saw it.

I have seen Memento, The matrix, Inception, 2046 and possibly the number of movies anyone can ever watch in a lifetime but trust me, nothing like this before. This is a masterpiece, a classic, period…

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