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The Rat who is made of Stainless Steel

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Film Review: Cloud Atlas (2012)
Cloud Atlas (2012). Directed by Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski, and based on the novel by David Mitchell. The film starts with an old man (Tom Hanks) sitting at a campfire delivering a monologue in a peculiar variant of English. My first taste of Cloud Atlas was the trailer, many months ago. My interest was certainly piqued by the trailer, and I looked forward to the UK cinema release. Except that due to distribution problems it was, frustratingly, pushed back to February 2013! Thankfully I've managed to see it ahead of that. Cloud Atlas is a complex film and difficult to describe, hence the short resume - within the first 2-3 minutes it has already intercut between various stories set across hundreds of years. A number of actors recur as different characters across time in various levels of make up (to varying degrees of believability), including the aforementioned Tom Hanks, and also Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent and Hugo Weaving. It's hard to fault the performances, all of which were very good. The effects, both physical and CG, were also excellent. There's a moving soundtrack to accompany the film as well, that also features as part of the story, but ultimately it's not as moving as some of the classic film soundtracks out there. For me the film was certainly good, and a fascinating experience. I respect the ambition of the makers, bringing a very complex story to life on screen. I also feel they've done it in such a way as to respect both the intelligence and imagination of the viewer. For those who've seen The Fountain (2006), it's certainly somewhat similar. If complex interrelated stories are a turn off, along with a dash of whimsy and science fiction, then you will probably want to avoid. Ditto for those who need a clearly explained end to a film. 5/5 (Excellent)