The New World (Malick, 2005)

My least favourite Malick. As one would expect of Malick, the film is shot beautifully, with some incredible visuals. Unfortunately, that is all this film has going for it. The story is long and quite boring – at least the cinematography kept me entertained. The characters have no depth and little development, despite the 3 hour length, and the film becomes very redundant – lines of voice over being repeated like 10 times (“who are you? You who…[insert ambiguous, somewhat poetic speech]” – this was done way better in The Thin Red Line), shot after shot of the same thing from different angles and in (very) slightly different contexts, etc..

The first half (or first 1/3) is MUCH better than the second; I might even give the first 1/3 a 5/5, it’s so well done, but, while you thought the film would continue growing in intrigue, it did the exact opposite. Also, they ruined the Pocahontas character – she was amiable as a free spirited native, but when she became frigid and agitated after joining the English, she became extremely annoying. especially her stupid facial expressions; every scene she was in, in the second half, which is almost every scene, I just wanted to punch her in the face. One thing’s for sure though, Malick sure can shoot underwater scenes.

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About Kamran Ahmed

I have a Masters in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto. I work as a freelance writer and film critic in Vancouver. My writing is primarily distributed through Next Projection, an online film journal based in Toronto.
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