The Tree of life (2011) – Reviewed and Decoded

The Tree of life (2011)

“100% pure cinema and connects directly to the core of your heart”

Its all due to the larger than life movies like these that I feel so full of gratitude towards film-makers for giving us a chance to appreciate the beauty and rekindle our souls with goodness.

“The Tree of Life” is another top class cinematic piece of work that I saw yesterday and I felt so impressed watching it that I just couldn’t resist myself telling the World to bask in the pure sunshine of this awesome movie. Superb Direction and Story by “Terrence Malick “, Top Class Acting by the biggies of the Hollywood viz, “Brad Pitt”,”Sean Penn”(My Fav. Actor) & “Jessica Chastain” and awesome Cinematography have not only helped it gain 7.1 ratings on IMDB but also OSCAR Nominations for BEST PICTURE, BEST DIRECTOR & BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY.

The movie is based on the life of Jack who is is now a wealthy man but finds himself lost in the greedy pursuits of the world. He feels as if he is bumping into the walls. Now he begins to wonder about his childhood and struggles to find how he lost his innocence then. He goes into a flash back mode and starts an introspection.

The Tree of life (2011)

The Cinematography will now woo you and leave your mouth agape. The bird flock moving around high rise buildings is an eye treat. The cinematic wonders does not stop here. The graphical description of GOD & Galaxies will make you rise on your seats. I have never seen such brilliant portrayal of heavenly bodies even on the Discovery Channel. Meteor collision, Volcanic Eruptions and than transition from heavenly bodies in the universe to the cellular lives on earth depicting the stages of birth is truly a masterpiece. Sean Penn as Adult Jack is shown wandering on the rocky terrains and finding his own self. The birth of child has been shown very creatively.

Brad Pitt as Father

Sean Penn as Adult Jack

There are numerous instances in the movie which will make a direct parallel to your own lives esp. the way Jack’s childhood has been shown.

The whole scene of how Mother raises her child and the portrayal of innocence has been shown quite brilliantly and will move your heart for sure. The toddler Jack plating a tree and then climbing up a big tree in the next stage signifying his transition to younger Jack is commendable. The Camera angles have been used with shear creativity especially with Mother.

Brad Pitt has done commendable work as a strict and authoritative Father who wants his children to be disciplined and showers them with love too. A scene where Mother puts ice on toes and inside T shirt to wake up her children was really good as all of us have experienced the same treatment by our parents at some points of our lives. The punishment he gives to his children for wrong doings will also make you feel like that you too have received such sort of punishments for same things as in the movie.

Young Jack’s role has been played with utmost brilliance by this young boy named “Hunter McCracken”. In the movie as he starts exploring the world around him, he finds that everything is not pure and all good. He starts finding faults in his parents too and becomes a rebel. He starts seeing the bad side of the world and is surprised at the strange ways of the world. In fact, he feels so troubled that he even prays to god saying the following lines:

“Help me not to sass my dad..

Help me not to get dogs in fights..

Help me be thankful for everything I have got..

Help me not to tell lies.. ”

These lines clearly show the dilemma of a young child who feels lost in the world full of trickery.

Both Mother And Father try their best to make their kids better people and try to shower their wisdom upon them. Some of the lines that Father tells his children are very inspirational. Here are some of them :

“your mother is naï takes fierce will to get ahead in this world, if you are good,people take advantage of you…every one of these top executives,you know how they got there? floated right down the middle of the river…don’t let anyone tell you there’s anything you can’t do..don’t do like I did..I dreamt of being a great musician, I let myself being side-tracked…the world lives by trickery, If you want to succeed you can’t be too good..”

“Misfortunes befall the good as well, we cant protect ourselves against it.” lines read out in church when mother taker her children there.

Once Jack goes swimming with his friends where one of his friend Taylor drowns in water. He wonders if Taylor was bad that God took him away. He thinks that god let an innocent boy die and similarly God will let anything happen so whats the point of being Good. Meanwhile there is a scene where white-smoked DDT is being sprayed by a moving van and children run after it. This scene really touched my heart as I myself have experienced this in my childhood. Undoubtedly the story of this movie has extensively covered the soul of childhood.

Jack starts getting irritated with his Dad’s preaching of etiquette and becomes a Rebel. He gets punished for raising his voice and his Father locks him in a room. He puts off the bulb signifying that all the light in his life has now turned into darkness. When the Father goes out for a trip to sell his patents, Jack finds freedom to pursue all his dark needs. He goes wild with his friends, fights with them, breaks stuff and even ties a Frog to a rocket. He even steals a dress from his neighbor’s house but then he feels guilt and he dumps the stolen dress in the river. Jack even disrespects his mother saying that there was no reason of obeying her as she too let Dad run all over her.

Father returns home unable to sell his patents. Seeing Jack’s rebellious nature, both Father and Mother take their children to church to get them blessed. After his visit to Church, Jack realizes that He Can’t do what he wants to do and unfortunately does what he hates. Eventually he realizes that it was the voice of God through nature which was always telling him to come back to the path of goodness.  When their Family is leaving their home, Jack revisits his mother’s saying,”The only way to be happy is to love..unless you love, your life will flash by”.

Family Reunion on Beach

Adult Jack is shown coming down the elevator and again he is visualizing himself walking on the rocks where he eventually finds young Jack who leads him to a door where on the other side is a vast ocean and all the childhood characters of his life are walking on beach. He finds his whole family there and seeks happiness. Mother is shown giving away his son just the way he came to their life. In the last scene , adult Jack comes down the elevator to the street outside and there is sound of Car horns,now he is smiling and all he hears is birds’ and insects’ chirping.

This movie is in a way similar to “Wild Strawberries” but it has its own unique soul. Watch it for the true and pure cinema that it offers throughout the movie and the mesmerizing Cinematography.

The Tree of life (2011)


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