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Matrix gone bad

Matrix gone bad
The ambition is very easy to see: Cloud Atlas is one of the most expensive films made (apparently $102 million were spent on it, most of which come from independent sources). The film boasts an array of stars – Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant to Susan Sarandon. And it is certainly one of longest Hollywood films: 163 minutes, to be exact.  But unfortunately, Cloud Atlas is a little too much of everything. The directors, Andy and Lana Wachowski (of
Matrix
fame) and Tom Tykwer have picked David Mitchell’s book of the same name for adaptation. But the  road they take though is long, winding and extremely confusing. The result: we loose the plot.

What was dealt as six separate-but-linked stories in the book is being stitched together into one plot in the film. We are taken through centuries with no apparent chronology. To make matters worse, we have the same set of characters trussed up as different characters in various time periods. So we shuttle about in time – for one scene we are in the 1800s where the ‘niggers’ toil and in another we are amidst the hoity-toity crowd toasting in a book launch in 2012. We have Halle Berry play the silent Jewish woman in the 1930; the spunky journalist puffing cigarettes to be taken seriously in the 1970. The present and past comes and goes and the future – 2144 – even more a blur where gadgets you can’t understand take over. In future, by the way, we are still fighting totalitarianism.

Given these confusing montages, naturally we drift far, far away from the story.

Looks like one really needs to be spaced out to get the drift of Cloud Atlas. Or read the book before hitting the theatre.
Jemima Raman

Jemima Raman

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