Monday, July 29, 2013

To the Wonder

Synopsis: It's Terence Malick's latest film. Story? Hmmm... Read the review below. Then you'll understand why I cant write a more detailed synopsis...

We're on the road to nowhere.. (Metaphorically speaking of course)

This film is exactly the type of film that film festivals were made for. It 'ticks' many boxes, both good, and bad. Very very bad as well!

The 'Story' (A loose term if ever there was one!) goes something like this:

Ben meets Olga (who has a kid - about 12-ish) in Paris. They fall in love, they go to the coast, they mooch around. They kiss, they touch. They argue. They decide to move to the States. In a small town with pretty fields. They meet some neighbours. They argue. They make up. They make love. They quarrel again. Daughter gets homesick. They send her back to France. Olga gets lonely. They both go to church. She can't get a job. He gets fixated with contaminated earth in his hood. He gets rest of hood all worked about that. She meets troubled priest Javier. Ben decides to leave. He needs space. She goes to France 'cause she can't get a green card. He finds old flame lawyer Rachel who is helping with the soiled earth business. They go to her daddy's farm. She likes horses. They start horsing around together. Olga comes back. Olga finds out. Olga not happy. Ben leaves Rach, gets Olga back. Olga gets a homemade musical instrument from some dude. They hook up in a seedy motel. He does the deed, and buggers off. She feels used. She tells Ben. Ben throws a hissy-fit! Ben makes her walk home. Javier walks around the neigbourhood. Moping. Avoids crazy ex-junkie lady. Maybe there is a 'dream sequence'. Maybe not. There were 'other things' as well.

They all mumble. All the bloody time! 

Without doubt, this is unquestionably, Malick's most esoteric, European influenced, avant-garde project he has completed to date. It is also, quite categorically, his most frustrating, irritating, boring, incomprehensible, and ultimately, his most worst film at the same time. If ever any critic needed ammunition to add to their argument that he has 'lost the plot', then To the Wonder is a key element in the case against him being self indulgent. Which is OK, if the movie has a certain charm about it. This film is totally devoid of charm. To the Wonder is going to be very hard to recommend to anyone who isn't a devoted fan. Thinking about that point further, I would say this: Even the most devoted Malick fan will find themselves questioning very seriously about the relative merits (if any?) of this film. For the record, I think that Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World are bona fide masterworks, they are some of my all time favorite films. I could happily watch those movies again, and again. To the Wonder I'll probably never watch again in my lifetime. I'll qualify this by saying I don't hate it per se, I'm just not ever going to find the 'spare' time to watch it again. I know my opinion won't ever change. I got nothing out of viewing it whatsoever. It will not improve with additional viewings. It is what it is. A statement by the director that is of no interest to me now, and forever.

Maybe the next one will be more 'watchable'? The bonus these days is that we no longer have to wait an eternity for a new Terence Malick movie. The unknown is whether or not the damn thing will be worth the wait.

We can only hope (and pray! Lord, we need to pray for him... ) that this has all been a bad dream. We'll all wake up soon, and he'll be saying "Gotcha! Had ya fooled - didn't I! Wait for my next one. It will be something!".

Yeah, Right.

That 'something' better be damn good Malick...

Jamie's Rating?

J for... Joke!

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