Review: Cloud Atlas Is a Superb Movie With a Strong Political Values Message

Cloud Atlas is an extraordinary, revolutionary movie, the best one I've seen since Avatar, a truly different approach to movie-making. And the message it sends could make the right-wing hate it, so don't be surprised to see really negative reviews. Some will be based on politics.

Strictly entertainment-wise, it had me literally sitting on and gripping the edge of my seat. I can't tell you how many times I literally found myself leaning forward, tightly holding on to the front of the seat. I'd scoot back in my seat and a little later, find myself again at the edge of the seat.

I went with my two sons, 22 and 28. The 22-year-old said it was better than Avatar. Avatar was and still is my favorite all-time movie. But this one comes close. It's definitely one I want to see again.

It's not surprising that this movie takes risks, with the screenplay and directing involving the Wachowskis who wrote and directed The Matrix and V for Vendetta. The movie is based on the book with the same title by David Mitchell.

The movie is worth viewing just to see its vision of what the future looks like in a corporate state-- horrifying yet oh so possible. I don't want to make this review a spoiler, but imagine a world where corporations start controlling you from insemination-- cloning you to live a life of total servitude-- truly slavery designed at the genome level. There's a great quote in the movie, that I don't think spoils the movie.

"I was not genomed to alter reality," the clone says. "No revolutionary ever was," the leader of the resistance to the corporate state replies.

If you're a right-winger, you should see it so you see what the world you're voting for will become. If you're a progressive or liberal, this movie will reinforce your values and terrify you. The hopeful message it sends is that kindness and small acts can make a difference that can change the world.

Even without the message, this movie is brilliant. Each of the main actors (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, David Keith, Susan Sarandon) plays four to eight different roles -- almost every actor playing both men and women, good guys and bad guys. That is very cool and frankly, I didn't even recognize some of them in some of the roles. One role by Tom Hanks totally eluded me. I was shocked.

Cloud Atlas will definitely be nominated for multiple Oscars in categories like costume and make-up, cinematography and best script. It is a fast-paced collection of stories occurring over a 600-year period, showing slaveholders hundreds of years ago and slavery hundreds of years from now, in an era on the verge of apocalypse, when global warming has done immense damage to "civilization."

Cloud Atlas is a unique new way to do a movie. Sometimes these work. Sometimes you go innovative movies to see experiments, like Memento or Magnolia. I liked Memento, as a novel experience. I hated Magnolia. I love this film and the genre it has created. I can't wait to see what it inspires.

Don't miss this movie. It may be having a slow start, dollar-wise, but it has not rolled out yet to all theaters -- it was shown in fewer than 2,100 theaters. It is a must-see work of art and a cultural phenomenon that you have not experienced.

Here are a few more good quotes from the flick:

"Yesterday, I believe I would never have done what I did today. I feel like something important has happened to me."

"All boundaries are conventions, national ones, too. One may transcend any convention, if only one can first conceive of doing so."

"No matter what you do it wouldn't amount to anything but a single drop in an ocean! "What is an ocean, but a multitude of single drops!

"If I care to imagine heaven I imagine a door opening"

"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."

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