Reviews

The New World

3

Off the radar for 20 years before 1998's The Thin Red Line, then taking another eight years off, Terrence Malick is either a) slow b) meticulous or c) a lazy bugger. Or, of course, a little bit of all three, morphed into one enigmatic, philosophical, unquestionable genius. In Malick years, The New World is a swift follow-up to his inspired Guadalcanal musings and, brimming with near-identical foreign-warriors-ruining-the-indigenous motifs, the director's themes remain intact - albeit with a saccharine smattering of the loneliness of love from his '70s work. Moving at a pace best described as "relaxed" through the relationship between explorer John Smith (Colin Farrell) and tribal teen Pocahontas (Q'Orianka Kilcher), Malick sweeps us dreamily through the Virginian countryside. Indeed, with so much of the film taken up by their ill-matched pairing, by the time stoic John Rolfe (Christian Bale) pitches up, Pocahontas' second great relationship is rushed, cruelly snipped for Malick's love affair with pointing the camera at a beautiful sunset through a field of grass (explored in the disc's Making Of). Cut by 20 minutes from the original theatrical version, The New World actually ends too soon. Especially as we may well have to wait until about 2017 before the mercurial Malick ups cameras again.

 

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