I am officially sick of Terrence Malick. He is pretentious and vacuous. Long gone are the "Days of Heaven". Now we have the ramblings of an over-the-hill, unhappy filmmaker/artist.
"Knight of Cups" is beautifully photographed by Emmanuel Lubezki, but Malick's incoherent dialogue is abusive. Abusive --- you may ask --- yes. It is proffered by the main characters of Christian Bale and others as nearly indecipherable. That may have been excusable for a short breath of time, but unfortunately, Malick chooses this as the entire tenor of the film.
The cast reads as a minefield of exemplary talent. However the "talent" is wasted on Malick's whims. Do NOT be fooled. This is NOT genius --- it is unbearable.
I cannot condone a script full of mundane mumblings as evidenced by the lack of discernible utterances by Bale. Rarely does a screenplay rely on mere scraps of speech as a disguise for a full storyline. And, oh, do not be hoodwinked into believing this is meaningful, abstract thought. It is a load of crap.
The cinematography by Lubezki is itself gorgeous, at times, but that is simply not enough. I even expected more from the original score by Hanan Townshend, but that, too, is immensely disappointing.
Whatever you may think of Malick --- please do not let your opinion of him sway your assessment of this film. It is tiresome and completely self-indulgent.
Opinion: Don't Bother!
Why is it that almost every Terrence Malick film is an endurance test, a battle to stay awake until the end?
"Knight of Cups", an obscure title with a reference to a tarot card, features Christian Bale as Rick, a man who has attained everything he ever wanted financially. But he is looking for something more in his life. Dealing with the death of his brother (Wes Bentley), and struggling with his relationship with his father (Brian Dennehy), Rick is involved with six different women along his path to self awareness.
Malick's latest movie is another self-indulgent, tedious bore that has been described as "intensely personal", based on his memories of love and family. That's great for you, Terrence, but I would harbor a guess that most people who see your movie couldn't care less. If anyone could bottle "Knight of Cups" into pill form for insomniacs, they would make a fortune.
The big question for me is why are big-name movie stars so seemingly anxious to be in a Malick film? In addition to Bale and the others, "Knight of Cups" boasts Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Antonio Banderas, Jason Clarke, Nick Offerman and Ben Kingsley. This essentially devoid-of-script effort allows actors, encouraged by Malick, to be spontaneous and expressive without being tied to the written page. That's all well and good if you're an integral part of that process, I suppose, but it doesn't necessarily translate into entertainment.
For the record, I only consulted my watch eight times --- about the same as Jeanne, based on what I could see from the corners of my drooping eyelids --- hoping for the end to this exercise in ennui, which I can sum up in two words: nothing happens.
Opinion: Don't Bother!