Friday, June 24, 2011
The Tree of Life (2011)
Perhaps the most interesting part of my experience watching "The Tree of Life" (besides the movie itself) was the utter quietness that fell upon the crowd after the credits began to roll. The previously boisterous group was now whispering, if not completely silent. I personally didn't want to say anything after seeing the movie, I just wanted to continue reflecting inward - because that's what this movie does. Malick's gorgeously shot meditation on the transience and insignificance of human life is on such a high level of cerebral and emotional comprehension that instead of merely throwing ideas at the viewer and hoping they stick, it pulls the things it wants to say out of the very soul of the viewer, allowing its philosophies to float and eventually take root. Though one could argue that the film is borderline gratuitous in its spiritual self-importance, the meticulous beauty of every single shot allows the film to never drift into languishing boredom. In a movie so structured around conversations with God, Malick has become God himself - he has created a timeless universe that despite its period implications, exists in its own realm, and has allowed his fascinating characters to simply exist. In short, it's a piece of art, the catalyst for important philosophical discussion, and a masterpiece.