Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Tree Of Life : Camera's play with Cornea

First thing first. This is not a movie review. The Tree Of Life in my opinion can not be considered as a movie. Definitely not a documentary. It's something which reveals you about your existence, about your life in its own way. I am just expressing my thoughts which were generated by my mind while watching it. This blog contains SPOILERS as without it I can not go ahead. But, I insist to read it even if you have not watched this masterpiece. This is because I personally feel that It will help you understanding the movie in a better way and reduce the chances to quit watching this masterpiece somewhere in between (As it happened with few people).

A family. A complete family. Father, mother and three energetic boys. Happily living their lives through the way of grace. Grace never tries to please itself. Grace is all about acceptance. Appreciating the beauty, admiring the awe of elegance, recognizing the bliss of eternity. After all, Grace is a way of living life with all its charms and flaws.

And then, there is another way of living. The way of Nature. Nature always tries to please itself. Nature likes to play with its elements. Nature creates a labyrinth for Grace to be trapped in. Nature turns the happy moments into painful wounds. Humans (like this family) always prefer to live their lives through Grace and Nature always supersede in due course.

Not every sunset bids a happy farewell to us. Nature sometimes delivers unwanted packages through coming nights. One such sunset brings a mail to the family. Death of their middle son. The one who used to play guitar to accompany a piano playing father. "Life goes on. People pass along. Nothing stays the same. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, that's the way he is" says the neighbour who tries to sympathize the mother for her loss adding that "You've still got the other two".

"He was 19 years old when he died" recollects the elder brother, who now lives in a huge centrally air-conditioned house but his mind wanders into barren deserts and empty valleys along with the memories of his younger brother. He conflates himself in his childhood playing with his brothers. Curses himself of how did he lose his brother. Apologize to his father for his harsh words. Father also repents for making his late son feel ashamed of his deeds.  And how did the mother respond? Aah ! Mother's heart is constantly crying for his son. She asks God "Why? Where were you?"

Even God can not remain silent to such heart wrenching question of mother. Nature has to respond. And it responds.

Now this is unique. I haven't seen such diversion in a movie. It can actually be considered as a movie within a movie. What Terrence Malick have created on this celluloid, I think even Discovery or National Geographic channels can not create to explain the Origin Of The Universe. The entire sequence of creation of the Universe is  about 17 minutes long. Let me put it in the way it is shown  in the movie. You can skip the ">>" part if the science of evolution does not provoke you.

>> Clouds of Hydrogen gas fuses & leads to fusion reaction.
>> First light of the Universe comes into existence.
>> A star is born which in turn creates various metallic and non-metallic elements by burning its fuel.
>> More stars born & now the Universe is filled with stars.
>> Galaxies start taking shapes.
>> Out of millions shown, one is Milky way, our home.
>> The Sun is born & starts emitting out the radiation off its surface.
>> The raw material used in making the Sun starts the formation of the Solar System.
>> Planet formation starts and our earth starts taking shape.
>> It's still red because of molten lava.
>> Turbulence is created in the lava because of meteor falling in it due to the lack of atmosphere.
>> The core breaks into pieces and eventually solidifies to make hard rocks.
>> Volcanic eruptions occur here and there which accelerates the solidification of molten lava.
>> Cloud formation starts due to evaporation of water.
>> Rocks have now almost taken shapes.

Reading this? Then you must have enjoyed the cinematic visuals & nature's blessings in the form of life through the eyes of Terrence Malick. And the sequences continue to stun you....

>> First life in the form of prokaryotic cells originates under water.
>> Newly created atmosphere now contains Oxygen which leads to the development of life forms.
>> Cell division through binary fission starts. [Amazingly captured]
>> Formation of jellyfish and primitive aquatic plants occur.
>> Protochordates & Chordates start filling aquatic and other ecosystems like desert and grasslands.
>> And finally first complex form of organism in the form of Dinosaurs start residing near sea shores.
>> Hammer-head sharks & Sting fishes occupy the oceanic premises & food web starts.
>> Development of rain forests and millions of organisms depending upon it continues.

Again Nature tries to please itself by creating imbalance to balance it in more sustainable form. So formation of Jupiter as a brown dwarf which has resulted into giving birth to millions of meteors release one such large meteor and that meteor takes a detour and enters the orbit of the Earth. A huge impact results into the extinction of most occupied species of dinosaurs to make room for us, human beings to dominate the Earth. Out of all human beings occupying the planet, a new baby boy is born in the family.

He is the first one to enter in the family and movie advances through the growing of that boy. His encounters with every new thing is shown quite naturally. Superbly captured moments. Some of the encounters are...

>> The first touch of mother and father.
>> The first breathe in the open air lying in the warm hands of mother.
>> The most common habit of putting thumb in the mouth.
>> The joy of taking bath experiencing the coldness of water.
>> The first crawling through knees to catch the ball rolling on the floor.
>> The first attempt to walk with two little legs with the help of father.
>> The first sound of quirking of birds and blossoms of colourful flowers.
>> The first alphabet and different shapes to feed the brain.
>> The first time running in the backyard and getting injured.
>> The first pain of bleeding and watching mother to dress it.
>> The first encounter with the rain and rain-drops on the surface of the leaves.
>> The first time playing of hide & seek with mother.
>> The first time facing own face in the mirror and looking at it with amazement.
>> The first time pronouncing rhinoceros and alligators by touching their toy shapes.
>> The first encounter with someone younger and smaller in the form of brother.
>> The first jealousy of mother's love and care towards younger brother.
>> The first time gardening with father, swimming underwater and facing a barking dog.

And then life grows. The family spends the happy and sad times together. All three brothers enjoy their childhood playing in the company of each other. Life still brings new experiences. It slowly transits from childhood to adolescence. Body starts showing the changes and a girl sitting next bench grabs attraction. Being beaten by father hurts and emotional responses change with time. Out of hormonal changes, curiosity leads towards mother's bedroom to touch her inner garments and maxi. First masturbation and the feeling of guilt and embarassment takes hold. 

Movie continues and leads to the climax. This part is not yet properly understood. May be the director wants us to conceive it in our own way. But by this time the seed of director's vision starts germinating in mind. I have never seen such unusual flow with such openness to the climax. Not all movies are made with "The End" kind of climaxes.

It leads you to the inner world of yours to understand The Tree Of Life. To understand the way Nature plays with Grace. The way Terrence Malick plays with the story. The way the camera plays with our cornea. The way characters play with essence of acting....

This is by far the finest movie of 2011 and one of the best movies which intriguingly creates cinema-driven complex approach to LIFE.

If this blog manages to create even slightest of interest in you to watch this masterpiece, Don't let this idea to die down. Allow it to germinate and watch the movie in the first place. Spread the word if it grows a Tree Of Life in you after watching it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for providing valuable info. It was a nice read. Now, I don't think I will need vagh-bakri during the movie.