I had not read the book, nor did I know anything about it when I entered the theatre. I think almost everyone else in the audience also came because it had Tom Hanks in the film. Anyways, the film started, and started confusing everyone. It was like 6 different short films were running in parallel, with no apparent connect between them, except the actors playing different roles and a birth mark.
Though each story is interesting in itself, the complete picture didn’t even start getting formed after 2 hours of the film. Infact 90% of the audience had the WTF expression on their face when the film got over. Because it offers no explanation. It has some Gyaan ridden lines like “Your Actions in the present have an impact on the future and are interlinked to the past.” Though after a little bit of thinking you understand that each story of an era, is linked somehow to its previous era. So a book written in era 1 inspires a composer in era 2, letters written in era 2 touch a journalist in era 3, the era 3 journalist’s story comes as a manuscript to a publisher in era 4, the story of the publisher in era 4 becomes a movie in era 5, and a person in era 5 becomes a demigod in era 6!
Now, as I said earlier, it is quiet difficult to understand what is the movie about and how these seemingly unrelated short stories are related to each other. But as six separate stories, they are interesting. Topics like Racism, bi-sexuality, ills of capitalism, disregard for the old and oppression are tackled with aplomb.
But what really stands out is the complex screenplay, amazing set design, mind blowing camera work and peerless makeup! You have to see the various get-ups of actors like Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving etc to believe it. I am still in shock that I couldn’t recognize Halle Berry in a story and Hugo Weaving as a lady! It is not easy to visualise so many lifetimes and to bring them to life and for that itself, I would give it a thumbs up.
So everyone, if you do want to check out some amazing film-execution and do not want to make sense of the film, do watch CLOUD ATLAS. Infact if you wanted to play chess and didn't have a chess board, go watch this film instead :P Otherwise, just read the book – coz frankly it is a multi-generational mind exercise in futility!
Rating: 6/10 --> For the ingredients
(The ingredients are amazing, but the final food item is too complex to digest!)