Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cloud Atlas (2012)


An excerpt of a review recently posted on Schaeffer's Ghost:
For the Wachowkis, the unifying theme of the stories is a sense of community and human connectedness. I was struck, however, by the portrayal of injustice as a universal experience. In each story, an injustice is being committed, and in each story, the characters involved must decide how to respond to that injustice. Some characters choose selfishness; others engage with circumstances in an attempt to bring about justice. So the fabricant/clone, when confronted with the horrible fate inflicted en masse on others like herself, chooses to take a stand in defense of those whom society as deemed ‘less than human’ and thus undeserving of basic human rights, or even life itself. This decision proves costly, yet the film clearly embraces the sacrifice of self for the pursuit of justice as honorable and right. This idea of self-sacrifice for the sake of justice recurs across several story lines—a young lawyer helps an escaped slave; a freedom fighter saves a helpless girl; a man risks his life to help the daughter of a friend; a woman risks her life for truth and to save thousands, perhaps millions; and a man undertakes a dangerous journey in exchange for a cure for a sick girl. In two of the story lines, this theme is rather muddled, as the victim and the savior are the same person, and, in one story, the perceived solution to the injustice is apparently self-salvation through suicide. 
Regardless of whether we agree with the means used to combat injustice—or even with the filmmakers’ characterization of certain events and actions as unjust—this experience of injustice makes an excellent theme, for it is common to all. If there is any universal constant in a fallen world, it is injustice.
Full review available here.

No comments: