The Tree of Life

Life is a peculiar thing and ‘The Tree of Life’, written and visionary directed by Terrence Malick, shows us that. Looking at the cover of the DVD I assumed that the film would be just based around a family and their everyday life – oh how I was wrong. At first, watching the first 30 minutes I thought this was a nature documentary; not a film. From the country to the beach then from a shot of the universe to city suburbs and then to a minute clip of dinosaurs the first half an hour showed everything about Earth. The shots of volcanoes exploding and the waves on a beach were stunning and spectacular. Although to be honest, knowing that the film was just over two hours long I don’t think I could have sat and watched that long of a nature documentary. After the incredible and powerful shots of Earth and the nature that it consists of, the movie then focused on an american family (this is where Brad Pitt enters). Starting from when a couple first met the film focuses on the couple (Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain) having three sons and their sons’ lives. We see the bond the brothers (as kids) have and the arguments they have. We see the brothers make friends, being with their parents and also them enjoying life to the full. Although, we see a birth we also see the death of one of the kids’ friends. The film continues to focuses on their lives and how and why a family is important. Malick shows us in a unique yet clear way that life, families and friends are important. All the way through the film there is sound, whether it is the sound of waves hitting on the rocks on a beach, the wind howling through the trees or  footsteps along a creaky floorboard – there is always sound (Why at the beginning of the film we are told to turn the volume up loud so that we can get the full potential and emotions of the sound and film). At the end, we see one of the sons (Sean Penn) grown up and is remembering his brothers; parents and himself when he was younger. More visual clips of nature are shown and more serious yet emotion-provoking music is played. Brad is amazing in the film and like The Telegraph says “Brad Pitt gives the strongest performance of his career” – so far (may I add). If there was one complaint about the film would be why is Sean Penn mentioned on the front cover of the film DVD when he is only in it for 15 minutes. This film does not have any surprise twists at the end, it makes you think about nature. ‘The Tree of Life’ is a visual film not only artists and photographers love but so will everyone else. Pitt’s characters says near the end “I dishonoured it all and didn’t notice the glory” and this is exactly what every other human being has and is doing. We don’t honour and appreciate the importance of family and the nature around us. We walk past nature all the time and don’t take a simple second to look, think and appreciate it all. If there is one thing ‘The Tree of Life’ does, it makes us think about life and nature and makes us grasp and appreciate it.


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