News / Arts & Entertainment

Cloud Atlas: A Tale of Birth, Death and Re-Birth

Penelope Poulou

Cloud Atlas by directors Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, and Andy Wachowski is a cinematic Odyssey based on a novel by British author David Mitchell. The story centers on six stories from the 1800s up to our distant future. The concept of the eternal soul links the vignettes as the characters of  one story are reborn into another. 

From the travails of a young American in the mid-19th century on a vessel crossing the Pacific to a female clone who rises up against oppression in a futuristic society, Cloud Atlas is a grand tale about lessons learned from previous lives.

Lana Wachowski wrote and co-directed the film. “We started looking at the way the stories connected. We were immediately drawn to this concept what if the villain of one story is actually the hero of another story played by the same actor," she said. 

To achieve this, each actor plays multiple roles. Tom Hanks is one of the leads.  “On one page, you go from 1851 to 1974 to you know, dystopian future," he said. 


“Our Lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past, and present and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.”
The challenge was great says Halle Berry who has significant film presence and interprets six characters. “Each one of those characters, the soul evolved in order to have the strength to be the character that I ended up being," she said. 

In her last incarnation, she plays a woman in the future who saves the world. 

Cloud Atlas is also about eternal love. 

"Each story propels the next story and then you're back again and it propels again the next one," said actress Susan Sarandon, who also appears in the film. 

She says romance links each story to the next as the characters meet again and again.

The cast also includes Jim Broadbent, Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving, who is famous for his role as the sinister Agent Smith in The Matrix. Once again, Weaving represents pure evil. His goal is to tempt and stall the evolution of the soul.

This $100 million production offers costumes and sets that highlight the film's different eras. 

“The breadth, the scope, the vast amount of time and space the movie covers. Some buildings are just doors and windows and other buildings are great architecture," said Hanks. 

But the film lacks the depth it promises. The stories meander and there are too many characters. After three hours we are lost between the past, the present and the future. 

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost-Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the latest edition of "Beyond Category" blues singer and guitarist Corey Harris performs with his band and talks about his travels in West Africa tracing the roots of the blues.