Monday, July 25, 2011
"it is hardly a movie for the masses and will polarize even buffs, some of whom might fail to grasp the connection between the depiction of the beginnings of life on Earth and the travails of a 1950s Texas family." - The Hollywood Reporter
I left this film thinking what a crap role for Sean Penn, I suppose he'd only accept such a non-role from someone considered a mad genius, like Terrence Malick.
I could not engage in the interminably long segment of the film that depicted scenes of nature's glorious wonder, firmament and imagery of creation. I consider myself a spiritual person, but this was just frame after frame, during which, my mind wandered to thoughts of needing to do my laundry when I got home. Then the dinosaurs brought me out of my domestic mental check list, only to think, what the hell do these dinosaurs have to do with the death of someone's son?
Clearly, Malick did not concern himself with the obvious criticism this type of filmmaking inevitably inspires. But for every where's this going? moment, there's countless beautifully quiet, elegantly filmed, simplistic moments of storytelling. If I were to watch the film again, I would ignore the confusion and just be taken in by the depiction of 1950's suburban family life - children idly at play on summer evenings, when it's permissible to stay outside till dark. Mother's who have had their third child at an age when most women today aren't even ready to think about having their first. Stern father's who make their children call them sir, set strict rules, criticize and manhandle their off-spring; and yet at the same time want their children's love, respect and affection. All played with such understanding, by Brad Pitt.
But if you planned to see the movie, because you're a fan of Sean Penn, than you're S.O.L. And please, somebody tell me they also think Jessica Chastain and Bryce Dallas Howard must have been separated at birth! I swore throughout the whole movie that I was watching the latter, until the credits rolled. Oddly enough, they were born in the same year, in the same month, and Jessica's given last name was Howard, although no relation.