Tuesday, March 6, 2012
The Tree of Life - 永生樹
The Tree of Life (永生樹) is an 2011 film. The movie stars Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain. Supporting cast includes Sean Penn and Hunter McCracken. The movie was directed by the enigmatic Terrence Malick.
The story is a flashback to Jack's youth in the 1950s in Waco, Texas. The flashback goes into his birth and subsequent births of his younger siblings. Jack's father is played by Brad Pitt, named Mr. O'Brien. Mr. O'Brien is a rough and stern father that's presented as a life sucking presence within his family. Jack's brought up in this environment and comes to resent his upbringing methods laid out by his father. The death of his younger brother is the catalyst for family issues in the 1960s and the present between Jack and his father. The mother, played by Jessica Chastain, is presented in an loving manner.
The movie was really tough to watch. The storyline was presented in normal view and shifted to first person (shot as if you were looking through the lens). The back and forth and the subject matter was quite heavy to comprehend. Can you see the "Tree of LIfe" in the subjects presented. Is there an higher power at work in our lives? How do we reconcile tragedies in our lives from the past to the present? The movie in some ways presents it from a flashback and bringing it to the present as well.
I was ready to stop the film quite a few times during my viewing. I would have if I could. My wife wanted to continue and I did simi-enjoy it as the ending did seem to "wrap" up the questions presented at the beginning of the film. However, I will not be looking to watch this ever again.