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Song to Song

Directed by Terrence Malick

USA, 2017

HOME, 19 July 2017

Song to Song

There is an oceanic feeling to all of Terrence Malick’s films, which I like.

Here, all of the main characters have a voice and a perspective and a story to tell and they come at you in motion, each a crashing wave. Cumulatively, you are shown something rich and strange. Not life exactly, but lives in motion. Moments, yes, yet memory and emotion too, and an awareness that this may not be (indeed, it probably is not ) the full story.

To be frank, the characters here are not that remarkable: Michael Fassbender plays a cunthound, so reprising his role in Shame; Rooney Mara is a bit of a blank canvas, a chameleon who lives her life through others: she is uncertain even of her sexuality; Ryan Gosling is a brand of damaged goods; Natalie Portman is a woman who wants love and cannot abide its perversion. But throughout it is the manner of the telling that is important, together with the feeling of freedom and openness that it engenders. As well as the  stories told, there are other stories here too. They could also be written.