Terence Malick’s latest opus is either: A) the worst piece of shit you’ve ever seen, or B) the crowning pinnacle in cinematic history. I guess your opinion depends on how generous you were feeling on the day you saw it, or if the person you dragged along didn’t fidget and sigh for three hours. I happen to be in the B) crowning pinnacle camp. Utterly amazing work, and I cannot sum it up any better than the review by gentleman scholar Jonathan Crocker, so I’ll just link to that instead.
But one thing that struck me as I was watching Sean Penn stumble through a rocky canyon in a suit, chasing a small child – how do you go about writing something like this? There’s only a handful of whispered lines throughout the movie. Every shot seems so meticulous on one hand, and then so personal and intimate on the other. How do you plan for that? How do you communicate what you’re trying to do, so others can get on board? I can’t even imagine what the script looks like… Sure, I could download and read it, but that’s assuming I’m not a lazy toad.
Whether you think it’s successful or not, it’s a really interesting film from a writer’s perspective.