This film was every bit the grand sweeping story that the trailers present it to be. The movie I am speaking of is Cloud Atlas.
The way that the story is told is like no other film that I have seen before. Just as one of the story lines starts to heat up they jump to the next one. Instead of being frustrating, as I would imagine it, this helps to build up to a frenzied pace by the climax of the story. At the end you are so engrossed in every storyline when they jump to the next one it is a welcome transition so you can see what happens in that story. This film is incredibly well written, if half the movies on the video store shelf were written half as well I would be a happy man. They also do a great job wrapping up all the story lines so they don't leave you wondering what happens.
The ending is one of the most important aspects of a film for me, which you all should know by now. A bad ending can ruin a good movie; likewise a good ending can lessen the suckage of a bad movie.
As for the ending, it really shows you the best in humanity on a grand scale. I felt a sense of connection to the human race that I rarely feel in daily life. This film also shows the darker side of humanity though. You see many different kinds and types of villains in this movie as well.
The special effects are simply amazing. In the futuristic parts of the film you see a city of grand proportion, and flying ships. Everything is done in such a way that it looks like someone simply filmed the ships and the city. This is after all what special effects are supposed to do, make us believe the unbelievable.
The make-up and costumes are fantastic as well. There are some period pieces in this film, yet there are not a bunch of ball gowns. There is however some great men's fashions, suit coats and vests. As for the make-up, there are a few characters that have tattoo's on their face and bodies that look real. I also really like how dirty the tribal people are in this film. It seems very realistic to me that they would not be clean and pretty. Their clothes are made of organic materials and are very loose fitting as you would expect crude clothing to be constructed. As for the futuristic scenes we have lots of close fitted clean monochromatic clothing. As a whole they do a fantastic job aging all of the characters. Since we are also skip around in time the make and costume crews do an amazing job making everyone fit the era that they are portraying.
The film does take about 10 to 15 minutes to really start to catch your attention, yet once it does it never fails to keep you entertained. I cannot imagine what else anyone could ask of a movie.
If you can pay attention and follow more than one story line at a time then I highly recommend this film. I can imagine that this film would be one that you could easily watch more than once. You may actually need to watch it more than once if you hope to catch all the nuances this film holds.
I was torn between four and a half and five smiley Mike heads for this film, so I asked my five year old (who did not watch this film with me) and he said "uh five," so I rate this film five smiley Mike heads.