The much-anticipated film adaptation of British author David Mitchell’s best-selling book, Cloud Atlas, began showing in German cinemas yesterday. Read on to find out what I made of the film, and also learn more about its special connection to the Hotel Concorde Berlin.
To say Cloud Atlas was much-anticipated is actually a bit of an understatement. This is the most expensive German film production of all time, estimated to have cost around 100 million dollars. It features a star-studded cast, including Halle Berry and Tom Hanks, and is the work of three of the world’s best-known directors: the Wachowski siblings, of Matrix Trilogy fame, and Tom Twyker, a German director responsible for the likes of Run, Lola, Run and Perfume – The Story of a Murderer. What’s more, filming took place at the legendary Studio Babelsberg, located just outside of Berlin in Potsdam. The studio, which this year celebrated its 100th birthday, was the birthplace of such cinematic heavyweights as The Blue Angel, Metropolis, Nosferatu, or more recently Inglourious Basterds, to name but a few. Add to this the fact that it is three hours long, and that any film adaptation of a well-received book will find it near-impossible to please fans of said book, and you have a film under a lot of pressure to perform.
Naturally, I was desperate to see it. I arrived outside the impressive Sony Centre at Potsdamer Platz, where CineStar were screening a preview in English, only to find a gaggle of photographers, jostling fans and… Cynthia Nixon. This is the venue of choice for many premieres, and is also a main venue for the Berlinale; tonight, World Without End starring, amongst others, Cynthia Nixon, was taking centre stage, but just two weeks ago it was the cast and producers of Cloud Atlas walking the red carpet… along with our very own General Director Carsten Colmorgen. As I hinted earlier, Hotel Concorde Berlin had the honour of hosting the cast and team during their visit to Berlin for the event. The hotel doesn’t comment on individual guests, famous or otherwise, but Carsten did tell me a little bit about the premiere itself and what he made of the film. He was particularly impressed by the attention to detail, not to mention the incredible prosthetic make up which, at times, managed to render famous faces like Tom Hanks or Hugh Grant almost unrecognisable.
And what did I make of the film? Well, dear reader, I don’t want to give too much away, but I would certainly recommend going to watch it. The film did not feel like three hours long and the mix of comedy and tragedy, adventure and romance, fantasy and social criticism means it will appeal to a broad audience, whilst the stellar cast and stunning visual production made it very watchable, even if you are not a huge believer in mystical soul rebirth and karma.