I hate spoilers, as should any movie fan in my opinion. You can’t get that moment back, that moment when you realize how it’s all going to end, whodunit, etc.
For the great ones that moment is delayed, for the fun ones it’s pretty clear from the onset, and for the crappy ones, well…
Needless to say it’s natural to want to “figure out” movies. However in the case of “Cloud Atlas” I’d suggest you resist the urge.
I could tell you how it starts and ends and it would make absolutely no difference. I won’t of course, on principle, but I could.
I’m not saying it’s unsolvable, I’m saying if you tried you’d be missing the point. This is not a puzzle, it’s a well spun story, or rather several stories throughout time and even space beginning in 1849 and reaching all the way into the maybe not so distant future of 2346.
Don’t worry there is a coherent plot, several to be not so exact. The stories are told out of order, but with clear intention. We get glimpses of scenes from one story and then jump to another, and another, eventually picking up that first story from where we left off. There are flashbacks, flash-forwards, planet jumps, there’s a lot going on, but it’s beautifully and brilliantly executed.
All of this is told by an ensemble of incredible actors all playing completely different roles in each story. It was almost like seeing multiple shows performed by a company of actors.
These are known, talented actors, the likes of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, and more, yet there were times when I did not know they were on the screen. The makeup work in this movie is incredible, not to mention some amazing character acting. Brilliant really.
So what is “Cloud Atlas” about? It’s about life and how our actions, as small as they may seem, can have profound consequences, not just in our own lives, but throughout the whole of time.
It’s epic, it’s entertaining, it’s touching. It’s not a puzzle, it’s life. Still, probably a good idea to pay attention.