I watched Cloud Atlas twice. The first time, I was trying to figure out the message and came up with enlightenment. It seemed as if the movie is telling us that lessons are to be learn and lived over many different lifetimes til the lesson has run its course. That is the trajectory of the human race and more and more films have been released in the last month questioning the existential notion of who are we? and what are we meant to do on earth? A product of soulsearching brought about by the apocalypse scare perhaps?
The second time round, I had time enough to figure out who was playing which character and why. The good guys who had to learn lessons the hard way and come up fighting against the trials of the day always had the birthmark of the comet somewhere on their bodies. Anyhow, the tale of John Frobisher was such a heartrending melancholic mess, a great artist and his struggles. It comforts because his work lived on its own merit past his name and story.
The director pieced together beats from across different genres like farce of England 2012 and SciFi of NeoSeoul with outstanding vision. As viewers, sometimes, the film seemed as if it would go on forever creating new sagas for its characters. The tale of Timothy Cavendish is always a funny pantomime break.
Conceptually, the project is a major goliath task.