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!


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