I don't think it's striving to make a profound statement, just a personal one. What we have is Malick wandering through scenes of his own childhood. A first person reflection, like Tarkovsky's Mirror , where the loss of his two brothers & his own physical & spiritual disconnection from past & present propels the whole thing. Malick finds a new cinematic language in the combination of sound & image. A miraculous work.
What Malick is trying to achieve is daring and this film has greatness in it. The characters are beautifully written and the way he captures "life" is inspiring. However, the film is indulgent to a fault, filled with cheap "philosophy" and Malick's quasi-religious world view is forced on the viewer at every chance. Looks pretty and feels grand but it's very insubstantial. Worth watching for the inspiring form.
Nous sommes entraînés, inertes et abasourdis, dans un conglomérat insipide de fatuité mystico-planante avec une ribambelle cosmogonique de plans en Haute Définition, délires en micro et macroscopie de la Création, de l'Univers, d'un Tout symbiotique, avec en prime les quatre éléments comme références visuelles incontournables. www.cinefiches.com