Cloud Atlas - Opinions

Froi
Froi Posts: 966
*SPOILERS*
Cloud atlas is the first book I have read before seeing the film. I have just seen the film and I am very interested in hearing other people's views on the film, especially those who have read the book.
Personally, I feel that the film missed important elements from the book. The pacing was brilliant and the transitions between stories was well done. However, whilst reading the book I found that I was thoroughly immersed in each story, separately, and I lost this when I saw the film, the film merges all the stories together, which I personally feel rips away the relationship the reader develops with each character in each story. Important parts of the book I feel are missing as well, these parts are evidently not nessessary to make the film, however I think that the parts of the book which were not included in the film could have helped strengthen each plot individually and therefore strengthen the entire film.
There are characters missing, for example, Eva from Frobisher's story, which completely changes the relationship the reader has with Frobisher when coming to see the film (for me, may not for others).
Chunks of each story have been cut out or not developed in enough detail. "Sloosha's Crossing and Everything After" is an example if this, there are many small parts in this story which would add to the atmosphere if only they were in the film, like when they get caught by the Kona, go to the trade fair, and the relationship Tom Hanks' character has with a girl at the start if the story etc.
I am sure that the majority of Somni 451's story changed as well, she is meant to have gone to a collage like place in the book, however in the film she follows a completely different route (please correct me if I am wrong).
All these alterations, I think, have taken away that film "magic" from Cloud Atlas, and if they included some of the finer details I think this film could have been even more astonishing than it already is, and even more personal.
This is just my personal view, on the film and me trying to state the differences between the film and the book. You may not agree, however if I am wrong in some parts pleas correct me!
Parts I'd personally love to have seen would be when Zachary leads the Kona to his brother (by accident) at the start, and when Somni 451 sees some parents through a "toy" fabricant off of a bridge (has a meaning to it). Just generally if they went in to more depth the film would be pure amazement, but would then probably be 4 hours long at least!

Comments

  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    Well I never read the book but I did really enjoy the movie.  I am one of the few people who can enjoy a jump style of story telling where each scene is part of a different story.  It sucks that it did not do better but then again I am not surprised that it did not.
  • I too did not read the book, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Great story, meanings, visuals, acting. I will agree with you sir Michael, wasn't surprised it didn't do better.
    On a Different note I thought they were trying to make it more appealing to the movie goer by making all the stories mingle together and such. Then again I may be wrong! haha
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    The thing is love stories only attract a certain group of people... sci fi epics only attract a certain group of people... and so do pirate ship love stories...  It was a beautiful and stunning movie that mixed so many genres on top of already going with a style that is hard for the average viewer to watch that kinda shot itself in the foot.  Cloud Atlas was deemed this years John Carter.... and those were both 2 movies that were actually pretty good
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    Cloud Atlas was deemed this years John Carter.... and those were both 2 movies that were actually pretty good

    By whom?  I assume you mean in terms of box office numbers, because the two films aren't really comparable at all otherwise.  And John Carter was crap, especially if you compare it to Cloud Atlas, which was incredible.  But like you said, something like Cloud Atlas only appeals to certain types of people, so it was almost inevitable that it wouldn't do very well.
    I have read the book and seen the film, and I think they both stand on their own.  The film is clearly an abridged adaptation, but most people probably wouldn't want to sit through six hours of people chatting about things, so I think the filmmakers made necessary exclusions from the text.  I never felt like I was missing information watching the film, or like they had skipped over anything (although they obviously did.)  Comparing any film adaptation to the book it's based on will invariably lead to disappointment, so you have to look at them both as separate entities.
    Cloud Atlas the novel is dense and exciting, but there's so much going on in it that it'd be impossible to put it all on film in a way that makes sense.  I think they captured the way that the language changes throughout the segments brilliantly, and although that transition isn't nearly as detailed in the film as it was in the book, it worked just fine.  Cloud Atlas the film is much more briskly paced and manages to fit a ton of stuff into its runtime that it's almost exhausting to watch.  Especially if you try to grasp everything in one viewing.  It's also just beautifully executed, and the effort that went into it is staggering; from the makeup to the locations to the CGI to the editing, it's just an amazing film.
    So anyway, I loved the film, and I loved the book.  There are crucial differences, certainly, but it's that way with every adaptation.  You have to appreciate a film adaptation for what it is, and not what it could have been when compared to the book.  I understand that's not easy to do, but for me anyway, it helps a lot.

  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    By whom?  Reviewers and analysts?  My mistake is that they both came out in 2012.
    John Carter was a good movie but its been done to death by all the people copying it and the trailers did little to explain the story to the uninitiated.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcV7aXL8txU
    Sci fi feel and that it could be epic but no hint of the story is given by the trailer and that was probably the best trailer.
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    John Carter was a blockbuster movie from the start which had terrible marketing. Although it had all the ingredients to do at least OK, they presented it so poorly to the public that it underperformed. Given the project was set up as a mega-blockbuster along the lines of Avatar, that's not good.
    Cloud Atlas was an obscure, difficult film based on an obscure, difficult book. Despite having lots of VFX, it was never intended or expected to be a huge box office success. It's a personal, experimental art film that just happened to have a gigantic budget. It was adequately marketed considering the complications of the material. Quite how they funded it I have no idea - but I would hope that most of those investors went into it with their eyes open. I imagine it'll turn out to have long legs once it hits blu-ray/DVD/etc.
    Both films are undoubtedly fascinating case studies of both funding and marketing, but I don't think they're directly comparable.
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    edited June 2013
    John Carter was a good movie but its been done to death by all the people copying it and the trailers did little to explain the story to the uninitiated.

    This helped make it a bad movie, though.  The novels have been adapted in various ways, and used as influence for a hundred years, so when you finally release a movie that is directly based on the novel, it ends up seeming very derivative.  I admit it was entertaining, but it was not a good movie.  They could have done much more with it, and made it vastly more interesting, but it was played safe, and suffered for it.

     

    Both films are undoubtedly fascinating case studies of both funding and marketing, but I don't think they're directly comparable.

    Indeed.  I'd love to see some reviews or analyses that do compare the two, though, so that I might avoid the author's future work, as they clearly don't know what they're talking about.  ;) 
    Anyway, this is sooo off topic.  How about that Cloud Atlas, eh?

  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,370 Enthusiast
    I've not seen it yet. :P
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    @Simon would you like it?  theres this site that would allow you to view movies that users have put up for free.  Its based somewhere in Europe I believe.
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    Yes, let's discuss ways to pirate films.  That is a great idea.   8-| 
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    @Aculag... im not talking pirating films.  Just because its free does not mean its stolen.  I know here in the U.S. we are use to big restrictive companies who stick with 1 model to drive revenue and sales but there are many other expirmental models which are being employed else where in the world.  Free streaming just means targeted ads and limited content ;)
    Want to see unlimited new movies in theaters for a fixed low cost?  Well in the US they are trying moviepass to give you a subscription to see new movies. 
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    Dude, free streaming of movies/television/music that were not intently released for free distribution is piracy, no matter what country they're hosted in.  You can rationalize it all you want, but that's the way it is.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,255 Staff
    Yeah, there are a variety of experimental systems out there for distributing films, but none of them are going to involve movies that "users have put up."  That's not legit.  
  • Froi
    Froi Posts: 966
    Okay I have a slight feeling this has all migrated from my original intention for this topic haha.

    I have read some interesting points above and do agree with some.

    About the distributing website, I personally think if you can obtain a film via a website for free it is basically piracy, anyway it probably won't be good quality and a fil, should only be enjoyed in good quality!! Haha :)

    What I am trying to get a grip of is how Cloud Atlas the novel and Cloud Atlas the film differ and whether people think that there are certain parts in the book they would of liked to see in the film, for any reason...but I am glad this topic has a diverse range of topics which all makes interesting reading!
    Thanks everyone for relying so far,
  • MichaelJames
    MichaelJames Posts: 2,031 Enthusiast
    edited June 2013
    What was your favorite story from CLoud Atlas?  I liked the future story involving the Korean girl.

    I'll drop the issue of the site so it doesn't confuse people but I don't want people thinking im promoting nefarious activities so heres the service in a nut shell
    The unpaid for service is youtube + Hulu free + netfix esque trial
    The paid for service is like youtube + Hulu Plus + Amazon Prime
    Legal and awesome... very very awesome.  I dropped HBOgo for this and I give it 6 months before its out of closed  beta.
  • StrikeEmStudios
    StrikeEmStudios Posts: 224 Just Starting Out
    Cloud Atlas was an interesting film, but it's not the type i film i believe you can fully understand through a single viewing; there are far too many stories happening to take it all in. I look forward to the Blu-ray release over here, So i can dive into it, luckily the film was both interesting and entertaining enough to warrant multiple viewings, It's probably one of the better films i've seen this year in the cinema.
  • Froi
    Froi Posts: 966
    edited July 2013
    What was your favorite story from CLoud Atlas?  I liked the future story involving the Korean girl.


    From the book my favourite's would be:
    "An Orison of Sonmi 451"
    "Letters From Zedelghem"

    ...and my ultimate favourite "Sloosha's Crossin an Ev'rythin After"
    However in the film many of these changed, skipping some of my favourite bits, and the stories were not as engaging on screen as they were in the book. The way all the stories linked in the film though was very engaging as a whole (to make the main plot throughout all stories connect). So I liked each story roughly equally (can't really pick a favourite), but if I had to pick one i would say my favourite(s) would be:
    "Letters From Zedelghem"
    "Sloosha's Crossin an Ev'rythin After"
    "Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery"
    I could pick favourite stories if they were segmented into categories, like which had my favourite cinematography, effects, set, etc.
     

  • KirstieT
    KirstieT Posts: 1,272 Staff
    In case anyone's interested, I found this article about the 'Seven Most Surprising Faces of Cloud Atlas': http://www.vulture.com/2012/09/cloud-atlas-seven-most-surprising-faces-white-halle-berry.html
    T
    alk about experimenting! I can't believe some of these changes (especially Halle Berry looking like Madonna!)
  • StaffOnly
    StaffOnly Posts: 76 Just Starting Out
    Loved Cloud Atlas. Just ordered the book. One of the most amazing films I have ever seen. To think that Tom Tykwer spent months developing the amazing (and essential to the plot) score before they knew if the film was ever going into production. If films were judged on content alone like video-games Cloud Atlas would be the greatest thing since The Lord of the Rings trilogy and I almost feel it is.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX__81xzJWw

    Oddly after watching the film I felt suddenly very nihilistic am I alone in this? It's the exact opposite of the films message, but I suppose my ego is playing tricks on me.