CLOUD ATLAS AND WHY THE MOVIE WAS A FLOP!
My very best friend Nat from Buddy reads with Nat and I have decided that starting next year we are going to read all of David Mitchell's work in chronological order. Now I have read all of his books, most multiple times, and Nat has read some of them as well. But the reason for this post is that I just found out that Nat never knew that Cloud Atlas had been made into a movie. And that the movie, well let's just say compared to the novel, it never makes it out of it's shadow.
Now the question is how did a movie that came with a cast of triple A actors. A film that was written and directed by the famous Wachowskis fail so badly. Well this is what I think.
Firstly and this is one of the major reasons, is that the unique format that the novel takes was never going to translate to the big screen. With the novel the first story continues at the end, the second, second to the end, etc. A unique structure that works to such great effect with the novel. With the novel readers could flip back to make the connections. However this was never going to work with a film, especially one as long as Cloud Atlas. Audiences would struggle to join the stories together after such a long period, with the other stories adding more confusion.
Secondly, and this is my opinion only. No film can reproduce the atmosphere that a great writer can produce, writing in first person, and Cloud Atlas relies on this writing many times.
Thirdly the novel is simply too big in scale to fit into the limited timeframe of a film. Perhaps it may have been better if the Wachowskis had made it into a series like they did with the Matrix films, but honestly I still don't think it would have worked.
Lastly, one of the great things about the novel is the myriad of connections that exist between all the stories. I know that many exist in the film as well, but it is just so much more rewarding finding them in a novel, and again so much easier, no rewinding or fast forwarding.
I do believe that the Stellar cast did a wonderful job and the Wachowskis did an admirable job as well when faced with such a herculean task. I truly believe that it is just one of those novels that cannot be translated to the big screen. I would go as far to say that if the novel was not one of my favorites I may have even enjoyed the movie a little more. There are certainly some great performances and special effects.