I’ve talked before about my deep love for the Wachowski and Tykwer 2012 film ‘Cloud Atlas’. The film follows the lives of about 6 people in different times, with each individuals choice and actions influencing the future. It’s done in a Chinese-box style where each character will learn about the other through a different form of media- for example character B learns of character A through letters, character C then learns of character B through a book written about their life, and so on. Unfortunately the film was considered the flop of the year, mainly because in such space of time, the creators tried to jam pack in so many overlapping stories. Ultimately the film was unable to completely encapsulate the essence of the story in just an hour or two.
Cue in Netflix’s series ‘Sense8’ made by the same creators. The 12 part series has the same idea as ‘Cloud Atlas’, but slight difference. The series follows 8 ‘individuals’ ( a phrase I use sparingly), who are ‘Sensates’. The 8 are actually connected together as ‘one’, and can tap into each other’s emotions and abilities. The series follows them as they discover this connection and strengthen it. Overshadowing this is a looming threat of a man called ‘Whispers’ who hunts ‘Sensates’. The series is jammed pack full of action, character development and excitement.
Unlike ‘Cloud Atlas’ the TV series allows for a great development of the characters. Audiences are also given the opportunity to adjust to the quick story telling style as, with ‘Cloud Atlas’, ‘Sense8’ only gives about a 5 minute scene for each character before quickly switching to another. Probably my favourite part of ‘Sense8’ is the diversity in characters – we have individuals from a variety of backgrounds, different socio-economic statutes, ethnic and cultural heritages, genders and sexual orientations. The series also explores the various dilemmas these characters are faced with, and the demons they face in their past and future.
I don’t want to say too much about the series as I’m wary of spoilers, but honestly this is a must-see. The characters are beyond amazing, and for once in a series I actually adore each and every one of them! The series really engaged with each of them, creating multi-dimensional characters that the audience invested in.
I really feel that this series acts as a perfect introduction to the stylings of ‘Cloud Atlas’. By watching it one can gain insight into the way that the Wachowski siblings and Tykwer build up their characters and the character’s intersecting lives.
Overall I’d give this series a 9.5/10
Till next time 🙂