Go See “Cloud Atlas”, Do It!

by Aranyakananda

  From womb to tomb, we are bound to others, past, and present and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.    – Cloud Atlas 

My wife and I just saw the new Tom Hanks/Halle Berry epic “Cloud Atlas” tonight and we both were extremely impressed.

There was a whole section of narration in which karma was discussed, at which point my ears really perked up because I did not really have a firm grasp on what the film was about going into it. I only knew it had to do with transmigration, the transfer of souls from one life to another, i.e. reincarnation. Turns out the story follows several characters from life to life, or from “womb to tomb” as the repeated line goes.

To keep it short, I will say this. I have long lived by the credo “Everything happens for a reason” not “Everything that happens was meant to be.” Big difference. And “Cloud Atlas” really reinforces the idea that everything does happen for a reason but nothing is set in stone. Nothing is planned out. Circumstances, and outcomes (fate?) change as you go along based on your own actions. I find that to be a very redemptive thought to live by.

Speaking of which, this movie demonstrated to me how one can live life after life making the same mistakes over and over but with one good move, one redemptive action, shall we say, one can dig himself out of a big hole. Or at least begin to. And beginning that process, taking that step, is a very powerful force. The story shows tremendous turn-around in the hearts of some of the characters.

By the way, the movie is closing in on 3 hours, but it doesn’t feel like it at all. I usually grow weary as the clock ticks during movies but I found myself evermore engrossed as the plot thickened. But if a 3-hour film is not for you, it was a book first. Also I want to point out that as a handful of actors play several different characters, this lead to a few seemingly lazy bits of editing/makeup work. Such as a female nurse who is clearly a male actor and a white woman who is clearly played by an Asian actress. This, I feel the need to point out, had to have been done intentionally as a reminder of the imprint that is left behind from life-to-life of who we used to be.

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5 Responses to Go See “Cloud Atlas”, Do It!

  1. Tāṇḍava says:

    I don’t think its coming to the UK until next year, but I will definitely see it. I found the book very thought provoking

    • treadmarkz says:

      Thanks Tandava-ji. If you liked the book then I am sure it is a good read. Your writing tends to be very analytical and thoughtful, so I am sure you expect as much in your reading 🙂

  2. Curious says:

    Thanks Tandava for mentioning that there’s a book too. I’ll try top read the book first now 🙂

    and thanks Aranyak, for this recommendation.

  3. Scott KS says:

    I loved this film so much. It’s still sinking in, I think “Soul Healing” is an appropriate meaning to the film, in addition to the deeper connective tissue of the message, we are weavers, we are woven.

  4. Boo says:

    The version of the Mahabarata movie that I wanted you to watch, was filmed with a small amount of actors and they all play multiple roles, they also all come from different racial backgrounds. In this Indian story there is actually less Indian actors than those of differing races. Bishman for example is black and Arjuna is caucasian…. OFF TO ORDER IT!

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