Saturday, November 3, 2012
“Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.” Cloud Atlas
The fictional setting of Cloud Atlas allows you to suspend skepticism just long enough for your mind to drink in 'a tapestry sewn from universality of human feeling', and your emotions to be swept by mystical tidings: 'we’re not just bodies, but also souls; the choices we make in one life affect who we become in another; we’re all connected to each other and to something bigger than ourselves.' The end result is an inspired state of mind that leaves you yearning for “the great Perhaps”. 'Belief in the great Perhaps suffuses Cloud Atlas the novel; the misstep of Cloud Atlas the film is to try to turn Perhaps into Certainty.'
It's an artistic vision of a world where we do not know the possible far-reaching consequences of our actions, which may transcend our individual lives and ripple across centuries to form a grander pattern. The limitedness of a singular life covets a moral justification, and other than the bland idea of heaven and hell, a Cloud Atlas sort of karmic recurrence is of some possible consolation.
Skepticism kicks in soon after, bringing with it the despair of a world that has no plan in it, but if you are lucky the film would have done it's job of stretching your imagination enough that your whole existence quivers with the unheard symphonies of infinite possibilities.