How does writing my opinion on a movie relate to my experience in France? Well, one of the perks about being in France during the Cannes Film Festival is that movies that premiere at the festival come out in theater before those in America. For this reason, Terrance Malik's new film, The Tree of Life, came out in theaters today and I got to see it. I don't believe it comes out until the 27th in the states.
So, I would like to write a few words about The Tree of Life. I am no film critic, but I just got back from seeing this movie about one hour ago and I can't stop thinking about it. I won't lie, at the end of the film I wasn't sure if I loved it or hated it. In fact, there were many at the Cannes Film Festival who booed it at the end. Do not let the "booing" alarm you, however, the film did end up winning the Palme d'Or. If you decide to see it, I warn you to prepare yourself for a long and complex, yet beautiful and emotional film.
It always irritates me when I walk out of a movie and think, "I just don't get it. I mean, I am a college-educated adult, I should understand," and this is what happened to me at the end of The Tree of Life. What you must understand though is that you cannot walk into the theater expecting a story that you will easily be able to summarize in the end because this was my mistake. This is not just a fictional story of comedy, romance or drama, this is simply a story of life. Many reviews I read called it an "impression," which I very much agree with; an impression of life in which every human being will be able to relate to. It is this relation that really affected me emotionally and what I believe made the movie such a success. We all have experienced love, struggle, hatred, camaraderie, curiosity and even moments in life when must make the choice between good and evil, and these emotions or experiences are exactly what the movie reminds us about. Besides pondering upon themes or the purpose of the story, this movie is just beautifully created. The cinematography, the photography, editing and music will easily please the eyes and ears.
I only wanted to add a few words of thought about the film, but if you would like an in depth review of The Tree of Life, watch that of Richard Roeper. He gives an excellent explanation of the film.