Cloud Atlas has truly managed to capture the hearts and minds of its audience by its exceptional success in portraying the connectivity between human lives through effectively weaving together six interlacing plots from six different time frames based on the book written by Booker Prize nominee David Mitchell, thereby transcending the boundaries of convention, time and space.
Casting the same actors as different characters of different ethnicities, ages, sexual orientation, social status, and circumstance throughout time ingeniously reinforces the underlying theme of connectivity between individuals by allowing us to conceive of the same human life form reborn and recreated in different external form. Yet, beneath those different skins, devoid of societal barriers that are created by conventional norms that forcefully and apathetically divide people and convince us that we of different worth in society, lies the same souls who become conscious of their other identities throughout time and space.
Eventually, the characters who possess such an innate consciousness of their origins come to realize that our souls are but one and the same, that one individual life is of equal worth to the other. Those who vehemently oppose this fact as a reality, those who judge others by their skin color, wealth, beauty, educational level, social status, affiliations, or any other unnatural external element imposed to us by the institutions that mold our perceptions of reality, may find this film difficult to digest as it can be unbelievably perturbing to their sensibilities and topple their sense of self-worth.
It is interesting to note moralistic parallels in some of the other films screened around the same time, such as The Help and Lincoln. What sets Cloud Atlas aside is the vastness of its context and its success in breaking through the multiple barriers of time, space, ethnicity, social status, political affiliation, and geographical location that confine us to our circumstances in the various parts of society we have been compartmentalized into, mostly not by our own choice.
Deeply moving, truly revolutionary, and absolutely deserving of love.