Cloud Atlas

Dir: Tom, Andy, Lana Twyker, Wachowski, Wachowski

USA | Hong Kong | Singapore




One of the most ambitious, expensive, critically discussed, dauntingly dense, mash-ups of formal literary ambition and cinematic pulp fiction in years. Independently produced, this reasonably faithful adaptation of David Mitchell’s thematically and structurally dense sci-fi novel relates six stories taking place between the years 1849 and 2346.

Acting as a kind of visual equivalent to the mandala linguistic fractal narrative games of the novel, the same actors appear in multiple roles, playing characters of different races, genders and ages.

Each segment retells the essence of the story contained in the previous one, with context and setting creating multiple readings of a similar story suggesting that humanity almost willfully repeats itself through past, present and future…

Moving from Cambridge in the 1930s to interplanetary settlers far in the future, along the way, taking in fascist Neo-Seoul, a scabrously witty evil nursing home and America’s 1970’s nuclear programme.

This high octane sci-fi film ruminates on everything from reincarnation and Solzhenitsyn with the verve and gusto of a Boy’s Own adventure tale. Enjoyably inventive with an, at times, giddy sense of fun this endearingly bonkers tale suggests that all lives are connected by a thirst for freedom.

This is a film which sets out to be, serious, visionary, playful, just managing to save itself from portentiousness by constantly keeping its self-consciously Big Themes in check with heavy doses of action and humour. Some clue to the tonal variety found here comes from the intriguing marriage of its directors, the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix trilogy) and Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run).

Somehow the fractured cultural identities of the stories within the novel have been echoed by the filmmakers own nationalities which may go some way to articulating the strangeness of this bizarre film which anyone interested in mainstream cinema is going to find themselves inexorably drawn to.

Booking Information


Warner Bros.

Release Date

22 February 2013

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