Published on March 4th, 2016 | by Neil Jordan0
Knight Of Cups
Greetings & Salutations Fellow Movie Fanatics!
I’ll just come out and say it … This movie for all it’s grandeur with its ensemble cast and it’s amazing photographic work and direction is something that should be shown at film festivals and in art house movie theaters and NOT your mainstream chain theaters. Someplace where you can order a meal and perhaps a glass of wine or a local ale. Why? If the movie has Christian Bale in its cast you know there’s going to be drama involved regardless of whether or not the movie itself is dramatic. THIS particular film is a drama that could be compared to something written by Shakespeare.
‘Knight Of Cups’ is a romantic drama written and directed by Terrence Malick and stars an ensemble cast including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Antonio Banderas, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Armin Muller-Stahl, Isabel Lucas, Freida Pinto, Wes Bentley, Imogen Poots, Teresa Palmer, and Peter Matthiessen.
“Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep.”
Rick (Bale) is a successful writer born into a powerful family in L.A. The son of Joseph (Dennehy) and brother to Barry (Bently). After the lose of a second brother as well as his mother, Rick becomes disillusioned and loses himself in the excesses found in the ‘City Of Angles’ and nearby Las Vegas. Along this aimless journey he encounters 6 different women Nancy (Blanchett) a doctor, Elizabeth (Portman) a married woman, Helen (Pinto), Isabel (Lucas), Karen (Palmer), and Della (Poots) looking to form some sort of bond or connection. Perhaps even to discover love only to encounter more lose. He wanders from cities, to beaches, then from mountains to deserts. Searching for something meaningful, some purpose all the while trying to hold what remains of his family and his own sanity together and along the way encounters a cast of colorful characters who have their own ideas about life and their own views on how he should live his.
This film was pretty much Malick’s attempt at making an art film with a large budget and a star studded cast. That’s just the thing. He succeeded and it was just too much. From a technical standpoint, it was wonderfully directed with its landscapes and ‘not-the-norm’ angles and close-ups but it simultaneously took away from the people and the story. It was almost as though they were trying to combine a film on the Discovery Channel with a drama. The film was two minutes shy of 2 hours long. Had the director been able to shave 20 minutes from it, then I could see it given a limited run in major theaters. I have to give kudos to the actors and actresses who were on top of their game which made the film worth sitting through once. The film is rated R for scenes of violence, nudity, and language. If you’re enduring one of those days where you just need to disappear and NOT communicate with anyone for a while, go see this movie. It’s runtime and complexity will help take your mind off your troubles. I’d highly recommend though that you save the film for viewing at home. I’ll give this film 3 out of 5 stars.
This is your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer ‘The CameraMan’ and on behalf of my fellows at ‘Skewed & Reviewed’ allow me to say thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the movies!