Thursday, May 18, 2006

The New World

The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005) [8]
The films of Terrence Malick are the reason that I became a film buff. I saw The Thin Red Line and it was a eureka moment for me. Days of Heaven is one of my top three favorite films. From all this you might think I have a bias towards any new Malick film. I certainly like this a lot but I was a little disappointed in the film overall. The first thirty minutes are utterly fantastic, the visual majesty just stupendous. My issue comes with about the final third of the film, with John Smith gone, and John Rolfe in. I’m not saying Colin Farrell is a great actor but he has a presence that is much more in tune with the film than Christian Bale as Rolfe. It feels to me that this section removes itself too far away from the meditative presence of the natural world that was so predominant in the first half. It kind of redeems itself with a nice juxtaposition of imagery at the end of Pocahontas, but I still feel the strongest moments exist with her with Smith in the new world. All in all, I still admire the film just for the staggering beauty of the cinematography, which drew me into Malick’s films in the first place.

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