Friday, July 2, 2010


Very rarely we come across such a beautiful film which just sweeps all our heart to the different ground from beginning to end. Terrence Malick’s ‘Days of Heaven is visually poetry or a beautiful piece of artistic expression; certainly higher than just a film watching experience. Undoubtedly Malick is rare breed of filmmaker whom I like to term as ‘the gifted naturalist’. Watching his films are like going into the lap of nature without any preconceived notions where we witness the colors and moods of the characters lives running parallel to the nature. Here the nature is the strongest character both as healer and destroyer capturing the essence of human nature with pictorial landscape.

Written by Malick and narrated by a teenage young girl mature in her observations, it’s a journey of complex love triangle between three characters. The rivalry to win the heart of lady stuck between two lovers; the ownership over someone who does not wish to be owned. Perhaps more than loving her owning her is quite contrary to their natural order. Without any sort of heavy or emotional dialogues Malick made a love story with ‘most heard silence’ focused on characters expressions and fixed images depth in meaning.

Watch the symbols too- the unwanted harmful bugs and fire in the field runs parallel with frustration in life, the house of landowner farmer dominates the frame is perhaps the sign of human progress in the Promised Land. The message of the film is quite clearly followed in one of the lines uttered by the girl, “Nobody is perfect. There was never a perfect person around. You just got half devil and half angel in you.” If we think deeper it suggests that heaven and hell lies not elsewhere but in our heart and soul. Richard Gere, Brooke Adams and Sam Shepard are permanently indebted to Malick for being the part of their most valuable and memorable film of their entire career. What’s adding more value to film is another gold score by legendary Ennio Morricone and Nestor Almendros is God himself at camera showing you the world of nature and human from his eyes. I’m quite desperate to see his other works.

A new permanent entry in my favorite films list.


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