I have wanted to watch this movie for quite some time now after watching the super-gorgeously shot trailer a few months ago.
For those of you who haven’t watched it, here it is.
So when I came across the DVD sold on my local movie theater last Friday, I was over the moon. It is a good thing that I only decided to watch it today when I am not so tired.
This movie requires your undivided attention in order to make sense of what is happening between a scene and another. There is not much dialogue to guide the viewers. When there is the need for explanation regarding certain scene,it will be granted in the form of voice-overs by the characters. Information is only doled out to nudge the story forward, not steering the viewers to a fixed conclusion. In other words,we are given the rein to exercise our imagination to fill up the gaps in the development of the story. And I exercised it a lot while watching this movie. This image of hushed, bordering on secretive intimacy is also reinforced with the way Malick takes the shots of the scenes. A lot of the scenes are taken from the middle of the characters’ body up to their upper neck, not quite reaching their face. The viewers are only afforded glimpses of the characters’ expression and have to rely on their body language to gauge the nuance of the scenes. It is almost like we are barred from seeing their faces so that we can experience a purer translation of the story. That the actors are only props to enact a grander plan, which shows in the secondary presence of the actors. Meanwhile, the scenes themselves are shot mostly using bright, gold light that make up for such a stunning viewing experience, lifting the overall atmosphere of the movie that can run a little somber at times.
To The Wonder is not a light movie and would not appeal to people who want their movies packaged neatly with the plot spelled out, but I enjoyed the deep observations about God, love, and existentialism by the characters. It is thought-provoking, non-linear, and runs under two hours! A recommendable pick for anybody who is looking for a taste of Terrence Malick’s movie or just enjoy a deep,unconventional romantic movie. 4 out of 5.