All boundaries are conventions. (A ‘Cloud Atlas’ 2012 Review)

A coworker was arguing at me a few days ago about The Avengers being better than Cloud Atlas. (Please note that he has not seen Cloud Atlas, but just likes forcing his opinion on others. I am a neutral person so I’m usually the target of his arguments.) I loved both movies but, as I told him, I found it impossible to compare the greatness of both movies because they are very different from each other. They each affected me in completely different ways. The Avengers movie thrilled and excited me in a way that only a long-time continuity could; Cloud Atlas moved and inspired me in such a way that I had no idea what my feelings were doing.

I went to see Cloud Atlas opening night and then went again the next night. I can say with complete honesty that it blew my mind. I was simultaneously impassioned, motivated and inspired. There was also some despair and lighthearted happiness thrown in there somewhere. By the end of the film I had no clue what emotion I was actually feeling; they were all over the map and my brain decided that the best self defense against the onslaught of feelings was for me to sob uncontrollably. This was the first time I had ever been so emotionally invested in a movie.

Cloud Atlas is essentially six separate stories being told to you at once. In the beginning you have little idea as to how they’re related and then mid-way through the movie everything starts to interconnect beautifully; everything suddenly makes sense. Revelations are made and connections are discovered and you’re left reeling from the force of it. I’m limiting what I tell you because I’m hoping that everyone will go see it in theaters and I don’t want to spoil anyone who hasn’t seen it yet… or read it.

Currently on top of my ‘to read’ pile.

I discovered right before going to see Cloud Atlas in theaters that it was based on a book. Usually I’m a bit more aware of these things and I’m a firm believer of books being better than their movies. Since the movie effected me so much, I can only imagine what the book will do to me and I’ll be sure to keep you all posted. Needless to say I’ve bought the book and I’m hesitating to read it this close to the start of NaNoWriMo, but I don’t think I’ll be able to hold off much longer. I’m craving to see the movie a third time and the book is sitting conveniently beside me. I’ve never been good at resisting temptation.

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4 thoughts on “All boundaries are conventions. (A ‘Cloud Atlas’ 2012 Review)

  1. *waves from a Google link*

    I had a similar experience with this movie, and with the book preceding it (I saw the trailer, loved it, got the book, loved it even more, and was waiting eagerly if slightly apprehensively for the movie to come out). It’s interesting, seeing the wide range of reactions people have had – I think it appeals to folks with a certain outlook on the world, those of us who understand that no one’s life occurs in a vacuum, that everyone’s actions have consequences that ripple outward, often affecting people they’ve never met. (I have a feeling many of we writerly types fall into this category.)

    If you’d like to read my reaction (and some comparisons with the novel), here’s the link to my online journal – I wrote out a whole post full of the things I liked/didn’t like/changes from the book/etc. before realizing that almost no one in my social group has seen the film, so it’s a little short on the actual “discussion” part. I’d love it if you felt like contributing. 🙂

    Also, good luck with NNWM! I did that the last couple of years, and it was a great experience even though not much else came of it. Unfortunately, I’ve got an audition for music school coming up, so I’m sitting out this round to focus on learning sight reading (ugh). Kick butt for me, though!

  2. You make it sound like such an amazing movie! I so wanted to see it, but A) I’m terrified of the violence in it (I’m a massive wuss when it comes to violent movies), and B) It didn’t come out in my local cinemas. The latter seems like a massive injustice to me, as the trailer made it seem like a real “cinema film”, if you know what I mean.

    Please, please, please post a review of the book when you’re done! I’d love to hear if it’s good, and particularly if it’s better/worse/completely different than the film. Also, I hope everything went well with NaNoWriMo 🙂

  3. I can’t wait to read this book! Also, that movie poster cracks me up. It’s going for a classic effect that’s cool, but if you look closely, the photoshopping isn’t that good. Halle Berry’s neck looks smooshed against Tom Hanks, haha.

    Did you read the book yet? I’m looking forward to your thoughts on it!

  4. Pingback: The 2012 Blog of the Year Award (PS: Happy New Year!) | Ocean Owl

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