The beginning of the 17th century. America is a seemingly primeval wilderness, populated by a complex weave of native tribes. Although all these native peoples live in harmony with nature, their coexistence as different tribes is an uneasy equilibrium…
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This really is testament to a vision. Testament by way of insane commitment. This is cinema practiced by a company of outliers-by-default. There is only one director directing anything like Terrence Malick movies. Though they inspire awe, however, I do not think The New World and The Tree of Life will age as well as his more recent contemporary-set stuff. There's just this aggressive sense of adults playing dress-up.
Like all of Malick, I like it but I don't love and it's always the same reason which is that his editing and narration is very hit or miss for me. When he allows a scene to breath and limits his jump-cutting and his narration such as the England scenes at the end, the result can be breathtaking as we are allowed to feel the emotions rather than being told. I also hate it when they ask questions to mother/father/god.
Malick's fascination with nature has never more perfectly complimented the storyline of his film. I was particularly struck by Smith's rebirth in nature as he avoids the noose, and the juxtaposition between the lush "naturals" community and the bleak English settlement. The shot of Pocahontas looking at the caged, dejected raccoon in England was subtle but very powerful. Perhaps a tad bit too long.
Possibly my favorite Malick film; the reverse-captivity narrative is here tackled with his seductive spirituality and subtlety, which transcends the romance -- it becomes something ethereal, supernatural. So beautiful.
Nothing less than epic and triumphant, this is one of those movies one can't simply put into words. The cinematography is ravishing, and so is the whole score. The plot and the actors are also captivating and, in good Malick style, the voice-overs add something to them that, if it was merely spoken, would lose its dimension. Even standing at almost 3 hours, I would say that the extended cut is completely worth it.
I saw the extended cut of this beautiful film. Only a few times before have a seen such a beautiful and passionate romance portrayed on screen (referring to Smith and Pocahontas), it is so full of yearning and so heartfelt. Malick's best out of his past 3 efforts, by far. 4/5
As one would expect of Malick, the film is shot beautifully, with some incredible visuals. Unfortunately, that is all this film has going for it. The first half (or first 1/3) is MUCH better than the second; I may even give the first 1/3 a 5/5, it was so well done, but, while you thought the film would continue growing in intrigue, it did the exact opposite. Malick can sure shoot underwater scenes, though.
It's hard to sum up my thoughts on this film. I didn't find the plot that engaging, and often when it focused solely on the narrative I didn't like it. That said, it did have moments of absolute beauty that really struck me even though I didn't particularly care for the plot behind them.