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生命樹(Tree of Life )@泰倫斯馬力克

Eric Siu

分數:168

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  • 4
  • 2011-07-11

    The movie starts by saying that there are two ways to lead a life – grace or nature. By grace, one lives as a good man under the teachings of the Bible. By nature, one lives with his own desires, to control them or to be controlled by them. No doubt, Christianity is telling us that we’d better live in grace; so was Jack’s family, at least to a large extent.

    The ultimate question then arose when Jack’s younger brother died in the young age of 19. Why would God let atrocities happen to someone who lived in grace for his entire life? The director is trying to use this 138-minute movie to answer this question, from the beginning of the world to eternity.

    I am not particularly impressed by the answer, probably because I am not a Christian. The movie suggests that those who live in grace will find happiness in eternity, which, in the eyes of the director, is to re-unite with the loved ones on a white beach in a sunny day. A bit shallow and too mundane in my view. Apparently, the ending is the weakest part of the movie.

    The other episodes of the movie are hard to understand, if they are meant to be understood. It is like an abstract painting. There is a lot of room for interpretation. Some of the scenes are really unnecessary to me. It gives me a feeling that the director probably thinks this is his last movie and he has to put all his favorite shots in it. Beautiful shots though.

    The overall acting is superb, especially the little toddlers and the young brothers. Brad Pitt did a good job too in the sense that you do not feel a scent that he is a super star. On the contrary, Sean Penn’s role is quite dim.

    Frankly, I do not like this movie very much although many movie critics have rated it a classic. I am living in nature, not in grace. The question why bad things happen to good people itself, to me, is a childish, if not a stupid one. There is no answer because it just happens. I think true wisdom comes from the ability to distinguish those questions that have answers and those do not, at least with our limited human intelligence. Trying to seek answers for those unanswerable questions is bound to be a futile task. To use imagination in place of intelligence to create answers to those questions is like taking opium as pain-killer against reality. Worst of all, the answer that the Tree of Life provides is not even imaginative.

    As I said, the Tree of Life is an abstract painting, which probably will become a classic over time. So I believe it is still worthwhile to give it a try. Who knows? You may like it very much, or even become the next leading movie critic.

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