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Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

The Tree of Life

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2012 at 10:34 pm

“The Tree of Life” is almost certainly the best film from Hollywood I have seen so far!

For me (and I believe it is true for a most of us) understanding of scale and time is always local. A story, an event, a phenomena is always grasped and understood by positioning ourselves in a very local space and time frame. It is such difficult mental prisons that Terrence Malik breaks, and he breaks them with some of the most breath-taking visuals cohered with grandiose music.

Film opens with the monologue :

The nuns taught us there were two ways through life – the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you’ll follow.

And to a certain extent, I believe that such dichotomies and polychotomies (immaterial if they are true of not) are useful abstraction tools to handle the complexities of our lives. ¬†But often, it is easy to get trapped (or be held hostage) to these imperfect thoughts. Loosely, the film is a recollective narrative of a childhood; a very personal, sensitive and spiritually aware depiction of 1950s Texan family. Just after the first few minutes of the film, something remarkable and unexpected happens! Film shifts itself into a cosmic scale and pace with images of exploding stars, planets in motion, evolution, and a benevolent dinosaur; whilst hooking (and contrasting) itself to the infinitesimal scale primary thread by subtle voice-overs. We later rejoin to the O’Brien family, back in the microscopic scale, but rich in emotion and deep in spiritual¬†drama. This is really daring piece of film-making (and the only comparison I can make is of Tarkovsky’s Solaris), and deserves to be stood up and applauded!