To be perfectly honest, I never wanted to read this book, I just wanted to see the movie. But, being me, I pushed myself through the book and seven months later, rewarded myself with the movie. It’s been a long time since I watched a movie adaptation so soon after finishing a book, but I needed the gratification after plowing through because I’d forgotten so much of the book. The movie helped bring it back to life and I think it was (at least for me) an improvement because of the format the filmmakers chose.
Things I Thought Were Awesome
Costumes and makeup. I was only slightly aware of the makeup mastery in this movie before I watched it. But seeing Hugo Weaving as Nurse Noakes and Doona Bae as Tilda were amazing. It would take me a while to recognize some of the actors, particularly Jim Broadbent as Captain Molyneaux and Hugh Grant as the Kona chief. It was awesome watching them play different roles.
Hearing the Cloud Atlas Sextet. Hearing the music Vyvyan and Robert were working on was so much better than hearing them talk about it. You can’t convey music in the same way in writing as you can on-screen.
Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me
Skipping around between stories. I found this a lot easier to follow than the book’s format where I would forget what was happening by the time I got back around to the stories. By skipping from one to another, I saw all the connections between the characters and their stories unfolded together.
Sonmi’s time at the university. This was a huge chunk of the story I struggled over for a few days because I was so uninterested in it. I’m glad it didn’t find its way to film.
Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why
Eva. She was such a large part of Frobisher’s end and not seeing her did help focus his story on the music and less on his romantic conquests. Frobisher’s emotional romantic entanglements were part of what made him interesting and I’m sad Eva didn’t make an appearance.
The language in Sonmi’s Korea. With how much I struggled to understand Zachry’s pidgin English, why couldn’t we add some of the awesome changes from Sonmi’s English? I wanted to hear about nikes and fordparks more than I wanted to know what was ‘for true-true.’ (I can’t think of a place to put this, but the English in Zachry’s story was so bad we had to put English subtitles on to understand it.) I thought it was one of Mitchell’s best changes to Sonmi’s time and I missed it.
Things That Changed Too Much
Having Ewing tell his father-in-law he’s going to become an abolitionist. Where did this come from? It was a much more positive ending to Ewing’s story and it made me like him after hating him so much through what I thought was the most boring story. Ugh.
Zachry ending up on another planet. Did I miss this, too? Honestly, I remember he was going with Meronym but nothing about moon grandchildren or whatever. Was that supposed to be the ultimate path for the soul to take? Leaving Earth? I’m struggling here.
Now that I’ve finally seen it I’m so relieved. Reader, have you see the Cloud Atlas movie? What did you think?
Until next time, write on.