Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tree of Life (2011)

Tree of Life, directed by Terrence Malick, is a profound and spiritual interpretation on the meaning of life and the existence of faith. Starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, and Sean Penn, the plot traverses from Jack's innocent childhood to his adult life in a modern world. This impressionistic film, mixed with surrealistic elements, strives to capture a feeling or experience rather than giving an accurate depiction.

Douglas Trumbull, the special effects supervisor of 2001: A Space Odyssey, is responsible for the visual effects in Tree of Life such as the scenes of the universe and early life on earth. Though these scenes may not seem relevant in the narrative, they have a thematic connection to the main storyline. Its purpose is to compare the massive timeline of the birth of the universe through evolution to the main plot of Jack's childhood.

It's likely that Tree of Life will win an Academy Award for its breathtaking cinematography. Many are drawn to the uncommon style in which the audience's attention is directed visually towards other symbolic images during a narration until the focus eventually shifts to the actor finishing his or her dialogue.

"There were two ways through life - the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow. Grace doesn't try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things.

Tree of Life isn't for everyone, some people may be bored throughout the two and a half hours. But from the beginning, I couldn't take my eyes off of the screen for the duration of the film. This movie brings such a happy, serene feeling.

If you enjoyed Tree of Life, watch Koyaanisqatsi, which has an environmental theme.

Watch Trailer