Unfilmable Atlas a big-screen hit
DAVID Mitchell's best selling Cloud Atlas represents an interesting prospect in translation from page to screen. On one hand, the themes are Hollywood gold; the stunning imagery itching to be location scouted and lens tested.
On the other, Mitchell's Russian doll of a novel is completely un-filmable – the six-story narrative field unable to translate to that storyboarded three-hour product. It's taken the vision of three directors to pull this symphonic story from the page, and just like the original, it flies on familiar winds through foreign destinations.
The screenplay has gone head-on into re-working Mitchell's expansive storytelling into something digestible in one sitting. Where the reader is forced to cover long sections, the film uses all the tricks of cinema; visual juxtaposition, soundtrack and voice over to trail meaning explicitly across the picture.
In terms of a viewing experience, this is by no means traditional. The Wachowski brothers ask us to take the red pill and give ourselves over to a blind drop into the rabbit hole.
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It's a treasure hunt for significance, an experience that left me immensely satisfied. A worthy game alone to track the likes of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and my personal favourite Brit, Ben Whishaw, as they change guises and genders across the developing worlds.