“Cloud Atlas,” ultimately, is a love story. Or more accurately, it’s three love stories told over the span of hundreds and hundreds of years. The overarching couple whose story drives the entire film is played in various forms by Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, but they certainly aren’t the only thing about the film that is affecting.
Jim Sturgess is taking some serious heat right now for the prosthetic make-up he wears in one of the film’s shorelines, where he appears as Chang, the agent tasked with liberating both the mind and the body of Sonmi 451, a service clone in Neo Seoul played by Doona Bae. Their story is perhaps my favorite thing about the movie, and I wanted to talk to them about creating the very delicate rapport their characters share in the film as well as her reaction to seeing him in his make-up for the first time.
I was also struck by just how beautifully etched the relationship is between the characters played by Ben Whishaw and James D’Arcy in one of the other storylines. There’s a sadness to their love story, mandated in part by the position of Frobisher (Whishaw) in society and in part by the times in which they live, but they manage to make it seem deeply affecting in just a few scenes where they appear together. Everything else is about the longing, and that’s something “Cloud Atlas” does very well. It’s a film about the things that unite us as well as the things that drive us apart.
I feel like the entire cast was so proud of their work at the press day, and certainly when I spoke with the filmmakers, there is a sense that they made the film they set out to make. Now that it’s out and you guys can finally see it for yourself, I’m curious to see if it hits you the same way it did me, or if you’re left cold by it, or if you’re outraged… in short, I want to hear your feedback.
“Cloud Atlas” is now playing in theaters everywhere.