Thursday, 6 December 2018

Cloud Atlas - Book vs Film

Cloud Atlas - Book vs Film - Intro

It is not very often that a film can meet all of the expectations set by a book that precedes it. Cloud Atlas does a fair job, I have seen few movies that remain a true to the original text.

Cloud Atlas - Book vs Film - The Book

The book is slightly difficult to get into there are 6 stories which we need to become familiar with before we can start to get in to the book as a whole.

Each of these stories is a fairly simple affair on its own, yet when intertwined such as they are they make for a complex and engaging read.

The stories are linked via breadcrumbs. The characters are not necessarily related, but there are small clues or artifacts left from one time period to the next. This "breadcrumb-ing" is a little confusing. It relates the stories to one another but does not mesh the stories as one entity.

When read I found myself trying to write more significance in to these breadcrumbs than was actually required. You suspect that a book, or a letter, or a piece of music would have a meaningful effect on a later (histricaly) part of the storey, but it does not.

Of course the characters are all fantastic, and the details and personalities involved are a joy to know. It was a thoroughly entertaining read.

Cloud Atlas - Book vs Film - The Film

This was never going to be an easy film to make. I found that the "breadcrumbs" that were just passing sentences in the book, were inserted as paragraphes within the film. I knew from the book they were insignificant in terms of plot , but a visual cues they became a distraction.

In short to make this an excellent film you would need to to be lord of the ring length. The level of detail required to uphold each of the stories is just not possible in the time given.

The more historic the film is the better is looks, the more futuristic parts, are CGI heavy (as you would expect) but a bit cartoonish. Perhaps this is in reference to the japanese styling . . .I am not sure.

Lastly, although it is great fun to see the actors dressed up in so many different roles. Spotting who is who actually becomes a bit of a distraction from the storey. It must have been a hoot for the actors to play so many characters in one film. Tom hanks does a great job . . and Hugh Grant! Who knew?

I loved the book, which I why I have written my thoughts here. I think the film is excellent, and would rate it 5 stars for its daring alone.

Cloud Atlas - Book vs Film - Which is Best?

The book of course. You can only build in enough character development in a book. If the film were 4 hours long then perhaps there would be more time for that. It took 10 hours or more to read the book, which shows the level to which the storey has been condensed. 


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