Well, for Pete’s sake, don’t watch it if you haven’t read the book. I think!
If the trailer is any indication, it seems like this might end up, against all my expectations, being a good movie, but it also seems like the reading experience of the book will be completely altered for anyone who sees the movie before reading. The story and writing of Cloud Atlas are both stunning, of course, but its structure is so crucial, too. The movie sort of pulls out the rug on that last bit.
Am I being a fusspot about this? I fear I’m being a fusspot, mostly because now I’m feeling renewed pressure to get every person I know to read the book before seeing the movie, and I don’t handle handselling pressure with much grace.
As excited as I am to share My Boyfriend David Mitchell with the world, I have to say I’m pretty nervous about this film.
PROS: It has Jim Broadbent in it! Anything with Jim Broadbent in it should be wonderful, right? And Tom Twyker is involved. (But then again, so is Tom Hanks. I like Tom Hanks, it’s just…)
CONS: Old person makeup, high velocity action. NERVOUS.
And I agree that this trailer gives away far too much about the book’s structure, too much of the plot in general. Then again, so did every single reviewer reviewing the book back in 2004? Either way, I hope it brings My Boyfriend David Mitchell more readers because (*ka-THUNK ka-THUNK*) he is just the DREAMIEST AUTHOR ALIVE. And by “dreamiest” I mean “very talented and capable of weaving complex and engaging dreamlike tapestries in his stories.”
I loved Black Swan Green, felt sort of meh about Thousand Autumns, and flat-out disliked Number 9 Dream. Should I read Cloud Atlas?
P.S. Ooh, he IS dreamy!
David Mitchell’s novels run the gamut of style and structure, and each is completely different from the rest. I loved Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas, and was less in love with the rest, though there were elements of each I really enjoyed. Cloud Atlas is his magnum opus as far as I’m concerned, even though I’d probably say Ghostwritten is still my favorite (probably because it was the first I read, and because he autographed my copy with a drawing of a little man on a flying carpet soaring through clouds). If you were introduced to him via Black Swan Green, though, I honestly have no idea what you would think of Cloud Atlas. It’s an entirely different beast. But I guess I really DO think you should read it. I DEFINITELY think if you’re planning to read it ever, then you should absolutely read it before you see the movie.
He is also incredibly attractive in motion, even when placed awkwardly reclining in the corner of an art gallery and pointlessly circled by a camera during an interview, and has the most adorable slight speech impediment (he had a severe stutter as a young child, as you probably figured out from reading Black Swan Green). If he ever does a reading near you, go, and you will honestly be so in love that you will end up feeling tender towards all of his books, even the ones you didn’t like as much in the first place. (What a horrible and bizarre thing to say about an author! But it’s true.)