No. of Recommendations: 2
OK, after all the dire warning signs that the movie Cloud Atlas would be a way-too-ambitious, jumbled 3-hour plotline spanning centuries, with multiple characters and multiple lives in various cultures that somehow are threaded together by a common...uh, thread. Rather, superficially unrelated and disparate lives however connected by an overarching universal truth, quantum connections...hints of reincarnation and such.

Despite the preceding description and how closely matched it is to my expection of the movie, I actually enjoyed it. No, you will not walk out of the movie saying "Aha, I understood it clearly!!" (but you may just walk out). However, you very well may leave muttering, "What the F*ck on God's green earth was that all about??" Lastly, for a significant few, you may walk out stating, "OK, not all the parts gel, crystal clear logic is not the guiding force here, but I intuitively see the patterns between the characters, the storyline, and the underlying philosophy."

I sort of fell into the 3rd camp....although I am riddled by bullets from the 2nd camp.

The movie has a plot of multiple trial and tribulation storylines of strong characters in the year mid 1800's Colonial Times, 1930's Cambridge, early 1970's San Francisco, current day UK, year 2144 "New" Seoul Korea, and far-future post apocalytic civilization. They all are connected somehow by this longing, cosmic truth, asteroid dust, a tenet of Reincarnation, whatever. It's something strong and abiding....the dramatic orchestra music running throughout the movie told me so. Whether it's characters played by the same actors, or a recurring birthmark linking several of them, or dire situations faced by both Tom Hanks as a on-ship doctor in 1850 or a tribalsmen in the year 2454 facing an advanced civilization....there exists a connection.

Clear as mud?

Each individual storyline can almost stand on its own. And they're well done actually. So if you can't expertly tie everything together like a finely woven basketweave, don't fear. The movie, towards the end of the 3 hrs, probably sensing your confusion and fatigue, begins to lapse into grandiose, pontificatory narrations about this cosmic connection that are a cross between your freshman year philosophy course and an obligatory, Sunday Sermon.

But despite my write-up, dripping in caustic sarcasm, I enjoyed it.
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