July 26, 2012 by Paul Curtin
With the summer movie season winding down, trailers for this fall’s blockbusters are starting to roll out. One film that’s been flying under many movie-goers’ radars is Cloud Atlas, which features the very unique story of six time-bending, interwoven tales from David Mitchell’s 2004 novel that have been adapted for the screen and co-directed by the trio of Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix) and Tom Tywker (Run Lola Run).
The six-minute trailer starts off slow but quickly grabs your attention as what seems like the typical completely shifts to different time periods as if watching trailers for six completely different movies with all the same actors. Cloud Atlas opens on October 26, 2012, and stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Keith David, and David Mitchell. Check out descriptions of both the film and novel below to try and help make sense of what you just watched.
An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.
The novel consists of six nested stories that take the reader from the remote South Pacific in the nineteenth century to a distant, post-apocalyptic future. Each tale is revealed to be a story that is read (or observed) by the main character in the next. All stories but the last are interrupted at some moment, and after the sixth story concludes at the center of the book, the novel “goes back” in time, “closing” each story as the book progresses in terms of pages but regresses in terms of the historical period in which the action takes place. Eventually, readers end where they started.