10 Movies One Mistake Away From Being Masterpieces
9. Cloud Atlas
The Almost Great Movie: Given that it's now fourteen years since The Matrix, you'd have expected The Wachowskis to have followed up on their breakthrough success by now. Evidently not. They admittedly can craft interesting visuals, but don't nestle them in anything worthy. Cloud Atlas, which saw them team up with Tom Tykwer, had them taking on David Mitchell's (not that one) epic, millennia spanning novel. With a high budget, big cast and impressive make up, it could have marked a welcome return to greatness.
The Big Mistake: There's no focused moral.
There's obviously a problem in carving a more traditional narrative. The book was almost like a Russian doll, starting in the past, working to the far future, then turning around and closing off the earlier stories, but the film axed that in favour of slowly developing each timeline to create parallels. But the real issue is that the film never makes it clear what it's going for; the cast play different characters in each time period, but the in-world reason for this, or the recurring birthmark, is left up in the air. It's clear there's a message here, but what it is is left irritatingly ambiguous. For a film trying so hard to be show everything is connected, Cloud Atlas sure does leave things seperate.