Hello again readers.
As you know, I don’t make it out to the cinema often. I am, however, a Netflix fiend. So when my humans went and saw a crazy flick called CLOUD ATLAS and raved about it, I thought I should put it on my Netflix queue. That way I could take a look at it when it was released on DVD. This past week, I saw it. And what a trip it was.
CLOUD ATLAS, with a budget of over $100,000,000, is one of the most expensive independent films ever. Based on the novel by David Mitchell, it interweaves six separate story lines that take place between 1849 and 2321. Using crazy makeup that sometimes turned Hugh Grant into a passable Asian and Halle Berry into a not-quite-as-passable Jew, the film uses the same core cast to portray different characters in each story. This highlights the film’s underlying themes of universal connective tissue and global cause-and-effect.
Since there are six separate stories, I shan’t go into each one here. Suffice it to say, though, that the cast handles the odd material with finesse, and the cinematography is spell-binding. Each setting, ranging from a 19th-century slaving ship to a 1970’s San Francisco warehouse to a futuristic South Korean city with flying cars and laser guns, has its own feel, its own palate, and indeed, its own director. Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, and Andy Wachowski shared the screenwriter, producing, and directing credits in this behemoth, and I think the collaboration paid off in spades.
But really though, Franny, what’s the deal with the cats? Where can we find them? Ahh, dear readers, this film is – unfortunately – not cat-heavy. The one instance of cat takes place in the story of Henry Cavendish. Played in spectacular fashion by Jim Broadbent, Henry Cavendish is a book publisher living in London, 2012. Due to some unforeseen events (having somewhat to do with a rough-neck author version of Tom Hanks with a giant prosthetic nose pushing a critic over a balcony), he finds himself examining his life and what he has made of it. He dreams of yesteryear and muses on his salad days, when he was courting a young woman named Ursula.
There is a flashback scene with a young attractive couple canoodling naked under some bed sheets when Ursula’s parents walk in. Young Henry Cavendish leaps up and grabs the closest thing he can find to cover his genitalia – a cat. Oh, that my species should be used in such a manner as this is thoroughly unbecoming of our inherent high status, but these things do happen sometimes for the sake of comedy. The cat meows and scratches at the boy’s nether regions, distressed by the prospect of being a human’s underwear (the finest bit of acting in the entire film), and Henry Cavendish falls out of the window in a panic.
All in all, although the cat presence in this film leaves something to be desired, the film is quite good. It’s so good that it makes me want to cuddle up on the couch with my humans and read the original novel. I’ll make them hold it for me, though. No opposable thumbs, you know.
So, the final score for CLOUD ATLAS is………………………………………
Wow! That surprised even me!
Well done, CLOUD ATLAS!
Until next time, readers, I remain yours in reviewing.