Creative and Experimental

The Tree of Life (2011) by Terrence Malick
Other films by Terrence Malick: The New World (2005), Thin Red Line (1988), Days of Heaven (1978)

“The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will pass by.”


Directing: The cinematography is just very beautiful and proper. Showed beautiful images of the universe, earth, and human conventions; it is what makes the film special. But the random skips of scenes were distracting and seemingly overdone. I don’t see its necessity an ground with the film. The film, however, can touch a lot of lives with its truth. It focuses on one’s childhood and the subtle experiences one undergoes in it. Those childhood and growing up scenes make the film stand out. The plane ride scene was remarkable; brought a smile to my face. I want to experience it one day. The editing probably did not mash u to what Terrence Malick hoped to expect, or maybe it did and I just don’t like it. The film was about life, and though there were shots of space, the earth, moon, sun, it did not give the depth effect of life other than the beautiful earthly scene at the end, and the ones that were randomly positioned throughout the film.

Plot: Global and life related; the simple joys that were shown with the child was very heart-warming and nostalgic. Like learning how to walk, or playing with a younger child, or hiding under the table, or even climbing the stairs.

Characters/Acting: The acting was just superb. Jessica Chastain was captivating and amazing—the grief she expressed was just too real, Brad Pitt impressed once again, and Hunter McCracken just opened up future roles for himself; a really impressive feat.

Score: The score can be more engaging if it were ambient, in my opinion, or done by John Murphy perhaps—just to make the audience more reflective and connected rather than fixed on a limited emotion of wander and/or fascination.

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