To The Wonder
US. 2012. Terrence Malick.
A fantastic piece of filmmaking with a deep soul. The film, very literally, follows the lives of two lovers, snatching bites of their dialogue, laughter and thoughts as they drift on by. Malick doesn’t need to punch anything up for dramatic effect, he lets us observe and fall under the spell of his melancholy. A melancholy created by charming music, stunning cinematography and a purely meditative style of filmmaking – as with The Tree of Life.
Malick perfectly depicts the tenderness and beauty of love. There is no need to consign a direct plot to these characters, life’s spirit is purely their guide. The romantic perfection comes and goes, as does the meaning of life and one’s touch of God.
Malick is clearly unconventional and many will find this film too elusive and dissatisfying. Yet, I urge you to reach beneath the surface; why must a film be explicit and explain everything? The history of cinema is fundamentally the same with the specifics changed and Malick lets us search for those specifics and find out what our hopes and dreams may look like.
*All reflections are from my film journal.