“Power, time, gravity, love. The forces that really kick ass are all invisible.”
― David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Since I first saw the trailer, since I couldn’t stop reading the book, I’ve been absolutely desperate to see the film version of David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. With a stunning cast and intriguing story from which to work, it was interesting to see just what the Wachowski team would create.
And what they managed to create was a concept and a massive, cinematic crossroads between several, very different stories. Certain elements connected the tales with one another; in the book, these links had a richer subtlety. Details were significant, and, naturally, rendered a little differently in narrative alone. In the film, the seemingly unconnected lives on display through these different worlds were brought together by casting the same few actors in different roles. This had the effect of almost hitting the viewer over the head with the concept of cyclical existence, parallel universes and the idea that everything is and always will be united.
Although Hugo Weaving is officially my hero; he looked amazing as a sadistic nurse. Mad props to Jim Sturgess (swoon!) too – he did a very impressive job of looking stunning no matter what makeup or character he played. Like this one:
But one overarching concept leaped out at me, and in the calm after Sandy, it seems all the more relevant and intense. People do terrible things. People do insanely horrid things over and over, throughout history. They will lean towards the terrible and treat each other in horrendous ways without a second thought. Yet on the flip side, there is love in the world. And just as much as the horrors are repeated, so is kindness and wonder and beauty.
Just like there is all this mess and sadness in New York and New Jersey, there is also joy and hope. And while I might be a pessimist at times, I really do believe that people posses the capacity for all that is glorious in the universe. It seems that this has bitten me very firmly in the rear end since I moved to New York; I’m inclined to think it’s people here. However, after seeing how some individuals have treated one another in this crisis, I instead think I’ve just had a string of bad luck. From the lady I talked to about work and continued learning, to the guy who offered me and all the others stuck in the hotel bottles of water, to the man today who presented me with a free gourmet chocolate after dinner, people have something in them that leans towards the wonderful. No matter how small the gesture.
This marathon is going to happen in two days. And I see it as us runners providing a little bit of that “wonderful” for a very large amount of that “horrible.” We are going to be the people that ran the New York marathon after Sandy. We are going to be that symbol of endurance. While many people think the marathon should just be cancelled, I think that right now the area needs that bit of hope and strength.
So, here we go. To the expo tomorrow. It just got very, very real.