Sunday 18 October 2020

Clouds (Movie Review)

One of the most powerful things about movies is their ability to inspire us. And let's face it, we all could use a good inspirational story from time to time, with the world being in the present state that it is in, and most of us having to deal with our own personal struggles on top of that. This is one of the reasons why I consider movies like Wonder and The Fault in our Stars to be required viewing. Clouds is another movie I would add to that category, a musical drama that recently debuted on Disney+.

Clouds is a true-life drama about a teenager named Zach Sobiech (Fin Argus). He is doing his best to live a normal life while also dealing with cancer, a burden that is also borne by his entire family and best friend, Sammy (Sabrina Carpenter), with whom he performs in a cover band. Zach refuses to let his condition dictate how he views the world, always being quick to make light of heavy situations. But after his condition becomes terminal, its full gravity starts to weigh on him.

Having run out of other options, his mother discovers a certain cave in France with water that is claimed to have healing properties. So she convinces the entire family to go on a vacation that would at the very least give Zach an opportunity to see the world. But during his visit to those caves, Zach experiences an epiphany that would reignite his love for music, a love that would eventually lead him to pen the inspirational indie folk song, Clouds.

After Sammy uploads a video of them performing the song to YouTube, they start to garner a following. This would eventually attract the attention of the press, who were eager to tell Zach's story and his unwillingness to let his illness stop him from chasing his dreams. They would go on to land a deal with a major record label, after which the song begins to get airplay on the radio. And Zach is perfectly happy to continue writing music. Except it is only a matter of time before his illness catches up with him.

I'll confess that I'd never heard the song, Clouds, prior to seeing this movie, nor heard anything about the story behind its composition. In fact, the only two things I knew about the film going into it was that it was based on a true-life story, and that it was a potential tearjerker, neither of which could have really prepared me for just how heart-wrenching it was.

But beyond the inherent sadness of the story the movie sets out to tell lies a very strong message. Granted, this is a message that is heavily telegraphed in the song from which the movie takes its title, but it was still refreshing to see it get beautifully realized over the course of the movie. Which is my way of saying you'll most likely cry during this movie, but not for the reasons you might be thinking.

It is easy for us to get so wrapped up in our day-to-day struggles that we neglect to chase after our dreams, or to enjoy the journey on our way to achieving those dreams. To quote a line directly from the movie, "You don't have to find out you are dying before you start living." And there is nothing more excruciating than having to watch a loved one die. But I was happy to see that Clouds handled its subject matter with all the sensitivity and nuance it deserved.


  1. I checked out the song on YouTube - never heard of it either. Think I'd have to be in the right frame of mind to watch the movie though.

    1. Yeah. True. Plus most people would also need a box of tissues handy.

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