I want to write this as soon as I can, as the thoughts are still fresh and exciting and not quite yet muddled with over thinking and overly complex reading.
I felt like this movie was made for me. And it was a movie about everyone. There were six distinct films in there, and it was all set to one score, played by one incredible cast. I made the mistake before seeing the movie, thinking each character played the same soul across different generations. But I think, it means to say we, all of us, share the same human soul bridging the gaps across time as vast as centuries or distances as short as end tables. Unless you’re Hugo Weaving, and then you’re always a villain. Always.
If all that is too heady, Could Atlas could be seen like that. More than a few viewers in that theater didn’t seem too happy. I for one appreciated a movie that was ambitious, and daring, and fantastically well made. The key to following along seemed to be an understanding of certain genre tropes. Each distinct genre film that comprised the six settings were great, from the wonderfully goofy story of a geriatric Englishman, the phenomenal sci-fi action adventure in Neo Korea, and the most surprising inclusion of an almost *almost* complete blaxploitation flick. But no matter how well executed they were, it was their interaction with one another that made this experience unique.
So many little connections are springing in my head, some clearly defined by the feature and some that are stretches I’m making for myself. Actors sometimes completely disappear in their make up donning new roles, and sometimes they’re just as clearly the same person in a different time. Some images reappear, some motifs are played again and again. But the undercurrent is the same, always every scene set next to each other echoes the other story emotionally even if they never touch physically. Distances of time and space and circumstance are rendered meaningless. It’s the same way that, in the film, a slave knows the young lawyer is his friend when their eyes connect.
I am soo clearly enamored with this movie. At least I am right now. I fear I may be talking out of my ass here. On repeat viewings this may appear to me a weaker film. Or perhaps someone can convince me that I was terribly wrong, and should never have suggested they see it. Maybe the Wachoski’s are racist the way the internet is telling me.
As someone who’s spends much of their time being anonymous, part of a collective rather than an identity, a story that welcomes our shared heritage and our same soul with the world and villainizes that which cuts us apart, I feel like this movie was made for me. And I think it was made for you too.
(Cloud Atlas is Rated R for violence, nudity, and probably one really gruesome scene that I figure might make some of my more squeamish friends sick or leave the theater. You know who you are.)