I just re-watched this on Blu-Ray on 52", and it was as poignant an experience as it had been 10 years (!!!) ago in the theater. There are imperfections--Malick idealizes the Melanesians as the noble savage (as he did with the Native Americans in The New World) and the overuses voiceovers when silence would be preferred. Yet, in spite of these flaws, it remains one of the most powerful antiwar films ever made.
To show the horror of war and such tenderness is not for the common mortals. The pain you go through equals the tears you cry and the anxiety you feel for all the soldiers. The happiness of those children, singing and dancing like they are the luckiest ones on earth, playing under the most beautiful sunsets, contrasting with the greediness of those who seek nothing but power. Even war can be art if shot by Malick.
Contemplative movie about one of the Guadalcanal battles. A film in red and green for blood and grass. Each character represents one facet of the human being confronted with war so we have here a quite complete picture of how humans react in front of war and death. Highly recommended.
Shifts of empathy usurped from solitary protagonists arrest the spectator. Their internal poetic soliloquies gain a psychopathic nihilism through the obedient brutality of their war crimes. The banality of war and its orders of rank; a cause fuelled by increasingly ambiguous notions of patriotism. Mordant yearnings and infernal echoes of traumatised and jaded survivalists. An anti-war ode to the dehumanised.
the mimosa plant folds its leaflets inward like the soldiers shrink from the horrors of war, which also adds to the juxtaposition of the idyllic nature and human evil in the film - one of the very subtle moments i liked..
Oh gosh, this film is such a punch to the gut. It manages to neither sugarcoat war, nor glorify gore, it's woven poignancy with grittiness, a hell with a paradise...beauty, pain. I never thought I'd feel this immensely about what is essentially a war movie, but that's just it, it's so much more than just a war movie.
It feels unfocused and sometimes meanders, but this works in Malick's favour -- "The Thin Red Line" captures the confusion of battle and the monotony of the waiting games that precede it, when all men have are their deities, their memories, their fears, and time. As thoughtful and experimental as a three-hour, star-studded Hollywood epic has ever been.
The Thin Red Line is definitely, by far, my favourite Malick (haven't seen New World or ToL yet). While Days of Heaven - an acclaimed *masterpiece* - was underwhelming, and made me question Malick's greatness, The Thin Red Line has entirely erased any doubts I had. I knew Malick had some genius in him - it shows briefly in Badlands and Days of Heaven - but now I have seen it in full.