Independent Movies: The Cloud Atlas Essays

Independent Movies: The Cloud Atlas Essays

Length: 1000 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

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Imagine a 172 minute long independent movie with a budget of $100 million, featuring Hollywood stars such as Tom Hanks and Halle Berry and directed by the same people who created The Matrix trilogy. Cloud Atlas is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious films ever made. It is based on the 2004 award winning novel by David Mitchell. The plot consists of six interwoven stories spanning nearly 500 years. It begins in 1849 with the American lawyer Adam Ewing, who sails to the Pacific islands in order to arrange a contract for his father-in-law. On his way back, Adam finds a slave named Autua hiding in his cabin, who convinces the lawyer to help him become a free man. Meanwhile, Dr. Henry Goose wants to steal Adam Ewing’s valuables, so he slowly poisons him, under the pretense of curing him from a parasitic worm. Just before Goose delivers the lethal dose, Autua intervenes and saves Ewing’s life. The second storyline follows the short life of Robert Frobisher, a young bi-sexual wannabe composer, who becomes an amanuensis to an old composer named Vyvyan Ayrs in 1936. While working for Vyvyan, Robert secretly composes his own masterpiece – “The Cloud Atlas Sextet”. However, when Ayrs discovers the sextet, he wants to take all the credit for it. This leads to Frobisher shooting his employer and fleeing to a hotel. Desperate, the young fugitive finishes his creation and commits suicide in his room. The third story is about Luisa Rey, a journalist in San Francisco who discovers a conspiracy regarding a nuclear power plant in 1971. But before Ray receives the incriminating evidence, her inside man is killed. She begins to investigate with the help of the scientist Isaac Sachs and the plant’s head of security Joe Napier. Sachs is also murdered ...


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...l adaptation of a novel, which was generally viewed as “unadaptable”. Featuring an intricate screenplay, masterful directing, brilliant acting and stunning special effects, this movie completely lives up to the ambitions of its creators. With its sheer complexity and philosophical ideas, it transcends all boundaries of today’s cinema. The Cloud Atlas is also one of the few movies which must be seen several times in order to be fully understood and enjoyed. Personally, I have watched it three times and I was never bored even for a single moment. On the contrary, with each consecutive screening I became more and more fascinated by it. Each of the six stories within the Atlas is worthy of having a film of its own. And when all six segments are combined into one, the result is an exhilarating masterpiece which can easily be considered the greatest Indie movie ever made.

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