"Surge" follows 24 hours in the life of a man experiencing a mental break. It’s an intense film with a powerfully physical and emotional performance from Ben Whishaw. It's urgent and frantic with a sense of danger underlying the actions of a desperate and unhinged man. Joseph is an airport security agent, constantly suspicious of people he meets and dealing with difficult passengers all day. He’s withdrawn and quiet, speaking only when necessary, often following his prescribed security script. He’s rake thin and picks at food that doesn’t interest him. But he bites down on hard objects partly just to feel something and partly as a physical manifestation of his tense mental state.
"Cloud Atlas" (2012) is not an easy film to understand. In this sense, it owes a debt to another film about time, space and mankind’s cyclical movement through both, Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968). Whereas Kubrick asked where mankind was going, directors Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, and Lilly Wachowski seem to answer that wherever we’re going, we’ve been there before. “Cloud Atlas” defies a simple plot summary. It is essentially a series of interconnecting stories of people who live and die in different eras of time but who might be the same people reincarnated to face similar challenges repeatedly in an attempt to change the course of mankind’s fate. The truth at the heart of the film is that all of humankind are metaphorically like the multitude of drops that make up an ocean.