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The Tree of Life

MovieMeditation presents...
total movie count ........... current day count
179 .......................... 188


May 24th

—— 2011 ——

—— drama ——

Nature only wants to please itself
Get others to please it too

Contains excerpts of earlier review
I think this is my third time watching this phenomenal film and once again experiencing the endeavoring explanation of the meaning of life. I don’t think it is possible on any level to take up a more superior subject in terms of ambition and strive for success, than life itself. But Terrence Malick isn’t at all afraid to debate and disapprove theories and philosophies known to man; whether being science or religion, fact or fiction. Basically, he simply wants to provoke your mind and your inner emotions, which is something he succeeds tremendously in, if you are willing to dive deep into this film…

You really have to let yourself go with this one, because it is easily going to appear extremely ambitious, hollow and confusing if you don’t take it for the experience that it is. This film relies so much on visual storytelling and metaphoric and incoherent storylines, that trying to solve everything at once will be too much, but not making any thoughts at all will be too little. It jumps in time, in space, in life, and it can be hard to keep up with everything or get your head around it. But if you only let yourself flow weightless into this amazing experience of a film, which touches upon all of your senses at once, you will be able to feel how close to life itself Malick travels with this film. ‘The Tree of Life’ has to be seen to be believed, while a proper set-up for watching this is almost an obligation. Just judging from the 20-minute time sequence in which Malick tells the story of how our universe was created, how life came to be and how it evolved – that was one of the best sequences in cinema I have ever seen. The colossal composition of God-like scale, which the extraordinary visuals are set to, lifts every little detail to a much higher level, and the breathtaking pictures are out of this world. If you really pay attention you can see just how much focus there is on detail, and how one frame goes into the next. I might actually think this is my personal pick for the most beautiful movie ever made, because it balances natural lightning, handheld and steady-cam, practical and special effects, long takes and short takes and everything in between. Every shot in this film is pure brilliance.

But honestly I don’t think there are many out there, who would not agree on the visual beauty of this film. Most of what people complain about, seem to be laying within the metaphysical whispering of our main characters, and how they just babble along with nonsense to “add to the alleged experience”. It isn’t like I can’t understand if you are thrown off by it, but I don’t think everyone listens to what is being said or what the point of it is. The film deals with God and belief, and how and why we are here on this earth, what our purpose is, why life is sometimes cruel, how we sometimes forgive and forget and how and when we need to move on… I think the whispers work better than ever in ‘The Tree of Life’, since it is a clever and smooth method used to present us with the characters’ tangled thought-process, how they pray and who they thin they pray to, and how they show both trust and distrust toward a higher power… So if there is anybody out there who are willing to give this movie another chance, or have never seen it but really wants to, I will simply say this – know that that this film is very visual, very ambitious and very hard to figure out at times – but don’t try to decipher too much, make some thoughts about how a given scene can be interpreted, but just try to let your senses get captured by the perfect blend of music, visuals, framing, editing and so on. Whatever answer you may find, I will personally pursue my love for this picture for eternity until the end of life.