Stellar cast: Hanks and Berry
Stellar cast: Hanks and Berry

Cloud Atlas | Hyper-narrative tale

Cloud Atlas, based on David Mitchell's novel, releases this week

David Mitchell’s novel ‘Cloud Atlas’ (2010) is a structural marvel. The British novelist is an extraordinary stylist, and the film adaptation is in the hands of a trio also known for their visual acrobatics—Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and her brother Andy Wachowski.

Set in three time periods from the past to the distant future, the book is a dramatic adventure populated by characters whose actions and karmas connect in amazing ways—the basic idea being deterministic: An individual’s action influences another life in a cycle that expands through all ages. Mitchell allows each episode to breathe, lends them their own rhythms, and yet ties them all together, which is why it is a feat of genius. The film has a stellar cast: Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Halle Berry, Ben Whishaw, and Hugh Grant, among others. They assume various roles in this film with a running time of 2 hours and 52 minutes.

The film promises to be a roller-coaster. Will it allow us to immerse ourselves in the zigzag narrative? It may take two viewings to get a definitive answer.

Cloud Atlas released in theatres on Friday.

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