There is nothing more depressing than the thought of an unsuspecting moviegoer viewing a Terrence Malick film with no concept of what they’re getting into. Writer/director Malick’s films are an acquired taste with few parallels. Mere mortals often walk out feeling lucky to have simply endured the experience; I reliably fall into that category. His last feature film, Knight of Cups, was my selection for the worst film of 2016.
Song to Song is very much a typical Malick entry. His films defy standard conventions and are among the hardest films for me to review. In a lazy world filled with beautiful hot-air balloons, Malick would instead choose to flit about in an ultralight plane with yards of flashy foil tied to its tail. Following a Malick plot is as easy as reading a recipe immersed in an whirring blender. It doesn’t matter if it’s the recipe or you in the blender. The feeling ends up being the same.
His latest effort requires a hearty dose of Dramamine and a bar within walking distance of the theater. The visuals come at you with the same peacefulness of a tsunami embracing a small island. Every shot seems as if it was captured by someone with an unrelenting case of hemorrhoids and a raging cocaine addiction. Conversations seem constructed by tossing darts at a wall covered by phrase book pages.
Capping it all off is a series of the least erotic “sex” scenes imaginable, a surprisingly lifeless soundtrack and the inescapable feeling that you were just subjected to a two-hour commercial for Austin real estate.
Salvador Dalí‘s most ardent supporters wouldn’t know what to make of this thing.