Friday, July 14, 2006

The Poo World

A Review of The New World
I usually enjoy Terrence Malick (to the extent to which you can “usually” enjoy the work of a guy who has made like three films).  I thought Days of Heaven was spectacular, and I would pick Malick over Tommy Lee Jones to direct a film adaptation of Blood Meridian.  But The New World bored me when it was not unintentionally making me laugh.  All the reviews of this movie have told the truth: the story of Pocahontas’ love with Colin Farrel and marriage to pioneer/psycho Christian Bale does not sustain the movie’s three hour length.  Malick also aligns the Indians with nature and truth and the settlers with artifice and falsehood.  How original.  For all the love that Malick’s gaze lavishes on the Indians, it invests them with very little humanity.  In an early scene beautiful ingénue Q’Orianka Kilcher and her brother play with one another in a field, mimicking antlers with their hands as if to say, “I am so innocent and connected to nature that I can’t tell if I’m an animal or not.”  In a very tired and predictable way this film ennobles and cuts us off from its savages.  Watch it for some sweet fish-burying scenes and in order to pretend that Christian Bale is about to murder everyone, but don’t expect any character, plot or insight.

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