10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Tree of Life [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
You have to see Tree of Life for yourself. Even then you will have to watch is 3-5 times before you can truly appreciate it.
Reviews seem to be split between unadulterated raves and savage critiques. In truth, both of these arguments are right.
Unfortunately there is an awkward sequence (from meeting Sean Penn to discovering the creation of life) that seriously derails the film and is probably responsible for a large portion of the negative reviews. While we understand a grieving mother asking God why he took her son, Penn's introduction is one note (city life has disconnected him from his true self) and too long. We then move into the 'creation of the universe' with no clear understanding why this relates to what we've just seen. More interesting voice over from either Mother or Son at this crucial junction would have provided the stimulus needed for us to undertake this journey. As it is, it is a beautiful sequence but one which feels too disconnected from the family narrative. Such a shame and so easily fixed.
If you are able to look past this mis-step, the 2nd half of the film is truly magical. Once we get stuck into the family dynamics the film finds solid footing and it features some of Malick's best work to date. He seems to understand the human condition better than any other film maker. He's also never forgotten the questions we all asked as children. Why should I be good? Is there a God? Why do we die?
While this doesn't hit the heights of Thin Red Line, it is still a bold, spiritual and life affirming film from one of life's true geniuses.
Go see it!