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David Mitchell's 2004 source novel was deemed unfilmable because of its elaborate structure - it interweaves six apparently unrelated but obliquely overlapping stories - and historical sweep - it spans over 600 years, beginning in the mid-19th century. But Andy and Lana Wachowski, the makers of
, and Tom Tykwer (
Run Lola Run
) have done a commendable job of bringing this hugely ambitious book to the screen. The sci-fi elements of the story fare best, notably the story of a rebel leader in a Seoul of the future, but the less visually flashy sections (an ageing publisher is imprisoned in an old folks' home, a gay composer is tricked by his musical hero) have an eccentric appeal, too. Nevertheless, the switchback narrative is more impressive than enjoyable, and the film is not helped by its 171-minute running time. Also problematic is the bold decision to give its cast several parts, meaning that its stars (including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugh Grant) are frequently unrecognisable under wigs and heavy make-up. But, as an experiment in offbeat blockbuster film-making, this has a certain maverick élan, and its reputation (already) as a grand folly means that cult status almost certainly awaits.
The lives of various individuals over 600 years throughout history are connected, from a sea voyage in the 19th century to a dystopian civilisation 500 years in the future, with their actions having far-reaching repercussions. Sci-fi drama based on David Mitchell's novel, starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent and Hugo Weaving in various roles throughout the film's different eras.
Cast & Crew
Dr Henry Goose / Hotel manager / Isaac Sachs / Dermot Hoggins / Cavendish lookalike actor / Zachry
Native woman / Jocasta Ayrs / Luisa Rey / Indian party guest / Ovid / Meronym
Captain Molyneux / Vyvyan Ayrs / Timothy Cavendish / Korean musician / Prescient 2
Haskell Moore / Tadeusz Kesselring / Bill Smoke / Nurse Noakes / Boardman Mephi / Old Georgie
Tilda / Megan's mom / Mexican woman / Sonmi-451 / Sonmi-351 / Sonmi prostitute
Adam Ewing / Poor hotel guest / Megan's dad / Highlander / Hae-Joo Chang / Zachry's brother-in-law
Reverend Giles Horrox / Hotel heavy / Lloyd Hooks / Denholme Cavendish / Seer Rhee / Kona chief
Young Rufus Sixsmith / Old Rufus Sixsmith / Nurse James / Archivist
Cabin boy / Robert Frobisher / Store clerk / Georgette / Tribesman
Madame Horrox / Older Ursula / Yusouf Suleiman / Abbess
Kupaka / Joe Napier / An-Kor-Apis / Prescient
Talbot / Hotel manager / Yoona-939 / Rose
Violence, swearing, sex scenes.
DVD and Blu-ray
22 Feb 2013
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