Sunday, November 29, 2009

The New World. A

Terrence Malick's visual artistry, which in turn enables him to tell emotionally compelling stories, is at full force in 'The New World.' It's a movie that's beautifully realized, invoking feelings of love and beauty in a romance familiar to many due to the popularity of the Disney film 'Pocahontas.' Yet this one is the one to see both for a remarkable history lesson and a piece of visually stimulating poetry. It's ideal material for Malick, who's known for his gentle, sweeping epics that define art on this medium. He makes great use of the scenery by taking one long shot of the new world after another. He does it with such care that he creates a certain sense of awe, almost like he's trying to put us in the colonists shoes as they see this place and its beauty. Colin Farrell, in a perfectly cast role, plays John Smith, who is in prison, then saved, then captured, then saved again. He eventually finds himself in a dreamlike existence in the presence of the peaceful natives and the beautiful Pocahontas, played by Q'Orianka Kilcher. Just as their romance blossoms, things go awry, as the colonists find Smith and he is brought back to reality. 'The New World' is a very special movie. It really stays with you after it's over. It's the sort of film that you just sit back and meditate on long after the end credits have come to a close. It's very much a 'filmmaker's film' in that to fully be appreciated one must have knowledge of the many aspects of the cinema and what constitutes a great scene or a great piece of acting. There's minimal dialogue in the movie, yet the performances are outstanding. It takes patience to realize this. It takes someone who is willing to study film and think about, not just be entertained. A lot of people will say 'no' to 'The New World.' But it's not because they can't get it. It's because they don't allow themselves to. It's the acceptance that changes the viewer, and will then make this an entirely different movie than it seemed from the outside. So test yourself and see if you can do it. It's not a normal movie, but if you can find the patience and the willingness, you will see that it is a great movie.

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