The Tree Of Life which won this years’ Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival aptly closes the 16th French Film Festival in Manila yesterday, and from the looks of it the film may garner varied reactions from its Manila audience come opening day.
The film is about the meaning of life from the main perspective of one family with Brad Pitt playing the dominating but loving father, his passive wife played by Jessica Chastain and their three little boys.
Technically, the film boasts of an enormous greatness from its cinematography, musical score and its wonderful shots but I was almost at a loss of words seeing all the imagery used by Malick to convey the beginning of everything. It was eye-catching but then I find all the symbolism way too many that it almost drowned the film.
Its direct dialogues to the audience were almost religious and felt quite empty at times since most of the images were distracting, though, in a pleasant way.
Sean Penn, whom I truly admire, got lost in this film. Why is he there in the first place? I thought that Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain worked it big time together with their effective and relatable portrayals along with the boys. I love how realistic their scenes were.
I’m afraid though, that the film’s too abstract narrative was too high of an art that it may jeopardize its connection to the audience. I asked myself, did I enjoy watching it? The answer was not a certain yes or no but I have polarizing feelings towards it. I love that all the “family” scenes were all inspired and very heartwarming but the surrealist approach that the director is inserting every now and then was a bit too much for my taste. I feel that this film would be considered by some as a snooze fest flick like the Hurt Locker but it will actually force you to watch its entirety with the film’s almost magical presentation.
Director: Terrence Malick
Starring: Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Jessica Chastain, Laramie Eppler, Tye Sherida, Kari Matchett, Joanna Going, Michael Slowers, Kimberly Whalen, Jackson Hurst, Fiona Shaw, Crystal Mantecon
This review was posted at the Pinoy Exchange Official Movie Reviews where I regularly contribute. Please visit the site to read more film reviews!