Cloud Atlas Review

Cloud Atlas; a brief rant.
   I saw this movie a week ago & I'm still upset about it.

   First of all this movie is made for people with ADHD; the cuts from story to story & era to era killed me. They could have followed the book format. they should have followed the book format. Vignettes, what's wrong with that?

   Secondly, they took out a lot from the book. Now, for the sake of time, I understand why they would do that. I had that thought before I even went to the theater, "how are they going to fit all this in?"
   HOWEVER, (thirdly) then why add/change so many things that weren't in the book at all?!? That's just stupid.
   It destroyed the integrity of the novel. The book was pretty good without Hollywood the German producers mucking it up.

   Fourthly, the agendas & things that are emphasized in the movie are not major in the book. Yes, all of the contexts are there, all of the backdrops - but they're just that, backdrops. The film morphs everything that I enjoyed about the book into... well, into crap. Quit spoon feeding me please. The threads that weave the book together were subtler and more eloquent, hence much more appealing.

   Fifthly, the characters were flat. This is always going to be a problem when you adapt a book to a movie. But, it was a disappointment for me as a viewer. I'm a fan of Halle Berry & Tom Hanks, so I don't think it was them. The script, maybe? Direction? I don't know; but I believe it could have definitely been better, deeper, fleshier, more developed.
   For me, that's a big part of what made the novel so intriguing - the people, the souls. Isn't that what the novel hinges on? Weren't the characters Mitchell's premise? Did I miss something? Wasn't that his narrative?

   Lastly, I have a HUGE issue with the fact that zero percent of this movie was filmed on Big Island. I understand that this is supposed to be the Hawaiian Islands of the future, but come on. Come on. It made me  exceptionally sad. The Waipio I pictured in my mind (see picture above & post below) was nowhere to be found in the film.
   Additionally, it would have been nice wonderful to have that revenue go to Hawaii instead of European countries (link to location notes HERE).
   As "one of the most expensive independent films of all time" (Wiki) the producers could have created EXCEPTIONALLY beautiful images from Waipio Valley. The Mauna Kea sequence, with genuine lava rock fields, could have been epic. The flora, the black sand beach, wild horses, everything. Even the light is different there (an observation I would think the D.P. should have considered - think Rembrandt. I know this because I have spent years in both Hawaii & Europe). & if they had shot in Hawaii there would have been a multitude of other interesting things they could have done there as well (Kilauea lava, Ahalanui ponds with steam rising up, Kapoho tide pools, Kona side reefs, Akaka or Rainbow falls, rainforests, lava tubes, etc., etc. the list goes on & on). CINEMATICALLY relevant, stunning shots.
   Yes, visually the movie does okay. But to be honest, from the trailer, I was expecting a lot more. My point is that the Big Island has a tangible magic of it's own & it is easily translated visually.
   Hawaii, and Waipio particularly, is a real, gorgeous, phenomenally serene and outstanding location. {It's a real place, not a fictional invention like Nea So Copros, they could have shot there. They should have shot there}. Waipio Valley is considered sacred by Native Hawaiians and anyone who has been there can attest to the special-ness of the place. I just can't understand why you would butcher the film when it is set in such a perfect location already.
   & if you're going to use the production cost/taxes as an excuse, please spare me. Many major productions have used Hawaii for years and years: Jurassic Park I and II, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Waterworld (filmed in Waipio), Karate Kid II, Outbreak, Planet of the Apes (2001), etc., etc. & many older films including (cough, cough) Academy Award winners South Pacific & From Here to Eternity.

FYI. No scenes were filmed in the Chatham Islands, San Francisco, Seoul, or Belgium either for that matter.

If Google Translate does not translate this into German correctly please let me know; I will translate it myself.

Anyway, I give it two thumbs down.
I'd love to hear your thoughts (good or bad).
If anyone read the book and enjoyed this movie I would especially love to hear from you.

Mahalo (Thanks) & Aloha.

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