Guys and gals, I can’t make hide nor hair of this Cloud Atlas thing. So many actors. So many directors. So many storylines. So many settings, in terms of both time and place. And though there’s great potential in whatever may come of the Wachowskis combining efforts with Tom Tykwer, it’s all a little worrisome to yours truly. I think there would be less apprehension about the endeavor if the actors weren’t so keen on telling us just how crazy the final result was going to be; when they say “crazy,” my mind goes to words like, say, “jumbled mess.”
Trust me: I’d be ecstatic state if they could actually pull off a movie where Tom Hanks plays a black woman living in the future or whatever. But if Hugh Grant‘s recent comments to Empire are any sign of what’s to come, the directing trio not only has a few challenges lying ahead, but I’m not changing my tune, either.
Like everyone else whose seen one thing or another from Atlas, Grant started right off the bat in calling it a “strange, ambitious film” — one in which he has “six cameo parts,” all of which are “incredibly evil” and involve “a lot of killing and raping.” You may remember when Halle Berry said that, during on-set conversations, she could go for five minutes without recognizing the English star; there was a bit of an echo in the actor’s own comments, wherein he plainly stated that wearing “an awful lot of prosthetic make up” means most audience members “probably won’t know that I am in the film.”
That’s one thing, so here’s where my concern about an exceeded grasp rings truest:
“In one of the parts I am a cannibal, about 2000 years in the future, and I thought, ‘I can do that. It’s easy.’ And then I am suddenly standing in a cannibal skirt on a mountaintop in Germany and they are saying, ‘You know, hungry! We must have that flesh-eating, like a leopard who is so hungry…’ and I am thinking, ‘I can’t do that! Just give me a witty line!’”
Granted, I’m interested in the same way I want to see Hanks completely surprise us — as in, “That’s something I’ll probably never have the chance to see again.” Yet it just sounds like… too much for them to hold in. I may have never read David Mitchell‘s original novel, but the 500+ page length is almost surely a better format for stories of this nature; at only two hours or so, I could see Cloud Atlas buckling under its own weight like an under-stacked house of cards.
Do you also hold concern over how Cloud Atlas might turn out? What do Grant’s comments do for you, in that regard?
Latest posts from The Film Stage