Terence Malick as a director is undisputedly a master; however Malick as a screenplay writer has often been unappealing to me. For a man whose work mostly focuses on cinema as a visual medium, he has proved, at least to me, that he approaches screenplays with the same mind-set which has unfortunately created a rift between his works and me. However, Days Of Heaven is one of the few movies where a lack of script works better than having a hard-bound one. It helps when characters have a free-will of their own in a tale like this, which transcends that line which separates imagination from reality, and brings the viewers right unto those fields, eavesdropping on the lives of these characters.
It is always a tiresome exercise to try to explain the plot of a movie in a review, and thankfully, I don’t have to in this case because the plot is not of any importance. What Malick envisions is to create a world so distant from our own and inhibit it with characters who exhibit human feelings at their raw best. There are only few movies which succeed in bringing about the surroundings, the layout of the plot as a character and Malick, who has had this endeavour in every movie I have watched of his, finally succeeds in Days Of Heaven.
One of the most pivotal reasons why this movie is such an overwhelming success is the fact that it is viewed by a teenage girl who doesn’t know much about something. There is a certain raw brutality in her narrative that is gripping to say the least. The emotions surface here through the groundbreaking cinematography which makes optimum use of the magic hour effect. It brings about unparalleled romanticism and wonders which work as an orgasm to the eyes. Some critics have criticized Days Of Heaven saying that the camera work may just be the only commendable part of it. Well, cinema is as much as a visual medium as it is a verbal one. And to me, if one of them succeeds in such a way that you don’t care about the another at all through the run-time, I think that movie is still a great one.
Terence Malick’s masterful work, Days Of Heaven, is a visually arresting experience that stays with you a long time after it ends and lets you experience an overwhelming and humbling touch of nature.
RATING : 9.3 / 10
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