Although I am not much of a fan of his work, Terrence Malick is my role-model in life. I do want to be a film-maker, but I am well aware of the risk that I may put on my shoulders if I choose film-making as my occupation right after school. There are various examples of my favourite directors – Quentin Tarantino who dropped out of school and made a movie and so on. I partially fulfil the requirements to become a film-maker as well. I have begun my work on a script. Martin Scorsese, Terrence Malick, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino all catapulted to stardom with their own scripts. I have a unfathomable love of cinema. I have watched hundreds of classics. But I am well aware there are thousands of thousands who have or had the same love of cinema and aspirations to direct a movie, but ended up being nothings. Behind Spielberg, Tarantino, Scorsese and Malick there is group of thousands who never did anything in this field. So, that is why Malick. Malick is a graduate from Harvard University in philosophy and taught at MIT as well. I too want to have a established career as an archaeologist before I become a film-maker.
Now enough of my love for Malick as an individual, let us talk about his work. I actually begin all my reviews with a synopsis of the plot, but The Tree Of Life doesn’t have a plot technically on paper. It is about Jack played by Sean Penn who is grappling with questions about his existence. Malick then employs visual imagery to trace the connection between the creation of universe and our existence in the 21st century while tracing Jack’s life as a child in the 60’s growing under his tough father and gentle mother and siblings.
In the beginning of the movie, Mrs.O’Brien says that the nuns taught them two ways of life – the way of grace and the way of nature. The entire movie follows into establishing the truth in that. Mr.O’Brien represents the way of nature tough, relentless. There is a line in Pitt’s war movie Fury which explains his ideology ‘Ideals are peaceful. History is violent’. He believes it is of utmost importance to be though to survive in the world.
Mrs.O’Brien represents the way of grace. She loves everyone from the bottom of her heart. She thinks that there is no need to be though because anyone who follows the way of grace has a happy ending. She loves life and life loves her back. Jack, our protagonist is more attached to his mother. He loves her but ends up being more like his father.
But the main context of the movie is that grace and nature go hand in hand like branches of a tree, thus the title ‘The Tree of Life’. Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography is stupendous. This can actually qualify as a nature documentary as well. The Tree of Life has a beautiful score composed by one of my favourite composers Alexandre Desplat.
The Tree of Life is a beautiful movie about family, existence and everything in between but the non-presence of a hardcore plot will make the audience feel left off and bored as well, but the visual imagery is so brilliant, it is pretty as it can be and no one can imagine the creation of universe like Malick can.
Rating : 7.1 / 10
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