For some reason, I’m feeling that the Cloud Atlas film adaptation is going to be a big yawn. Granted, mediocre books tend to make good movies, and the filmmakers certainly seem to have the right idea:
Mitchell told the Guardian on Wednesday he had read the “deeply impressive” script nine months ago. “They aren’t attempting merely to film the book, which is why many adaptations come to grief – the novel’s already there, so why spend all that effort on an audiobook with visuals?” he said via email.
“Rather, the three directors have assembled Cloud Atlas and reassembled it in a form which – fingers crossed – will be a glorious, epic thing. The reincarnation motif in the book is just a hinted-at linking device, but the script gives it centre stage to link the six worlds with characters, causes and effects. A novel can’t do multi-role acting: a film can. The directors are playing to the strengths of their medium, just like I try to.”
But for some reason I just can’t get it out of my head that this is going to be some Minority Report-esque thrill ride . . . a lot of adrenaline and cool effects that are hugely entertaining for about two hours but add up to very little lasting impression.
But then again, that’s how I felt about Cloud Atlas, so maybe I’m just transferring my feelings for the book to the incipient film. Though, the people they’re bringing in on this (e.g., Wachowski brothers, Halle Berry, Tom Hanks) definitely gives much more the impression of a big Hollywood pound-a-thon rather than something that treats the material lightly and turns it into art.