Voyage of Time: Film Review
Terrence Malick's Voyage of Time is astonishing on the big screen.
It sounds like a trite aphorism to describe this this way, but the big screen only amplifies the jigsaw puzzle that Malick's (Tree of Life) assembled.
Less a coherent narrative, more a free form visual art project, the looping rhythms pull together in simple ways, exacerbating the idea of the universe from beginning to end.
Using a myriad of pre-shot footage and the voiceover of Cate Blanchett intoning over and over again about "mother", the film uses its plentiful visuals to dizzying array and startling effect.
While parts feel like nature docos strewn asunder and stripped to their basics, there's a general feeling of awe in this. It's unlikely the sumptuous visuals (flowing lava, creatures under the sea, firing synapses springing into life) won't leave you at any point feeling a degree of existential crisis and potential insignificance in some small way.
Waxing lyrical, the film's one continual bum note is the trite and cursory come back that love is all that matters; and there are definitely moments that make you feel Malick via Blanchett's flat vocals, really should just be quiet and let the imagery do the talking. This is perhaps Voyage of Time's weakest element, its desire to pull together a narrative and a line in existential questioning that leaves it to fall short.
It's this point that may prove the film's so divisive, and which may be something that's an anathema to the audience, but for those willing to appreciate the assembly of elements that others have shot and to allow the ebb and flow of it all, Voyage of Time is something spectacular.
Because when Voyage of Time really knocks it out of the park is in its eye-popping visuals, bursting from the screen with Joie de Vivre and Arthouse inclinations.
Ultimately, this is cinema in its purest form and as it should be - awe-inspiring and a reminder of the power of the visual medium.