Writer/Director: Terrence Malick
Running time: 135 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 12A
UK Release date: 27th January 2006
Watched on Sky+ Sunday 10th July 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
This film was recommended to me and so, on good faith alone, I sat down to watch. I’ve heard many good things about Terrence Malick over the years and so was looking forward to a bit of a cinematic treat. Sometime things don’t turn out the way you expect and this was one of those occasions. I will explain more after this brief summary.
It is the early 1600’s and the eastern seaboard of America is being discovered and colonised. A group of English explorers find a place on the coast of Virginia and set up a base there. They send a group lead by Captain Smith out to trade with the natives. They capture him and are about to execute him when he is saved by the Chief’s daughter, Pocahontas. Thus begins the famous love story. Eventually, after helping the colonists more than once, she is forced to go and live with them. Captain Smith is called back to England by the King and Pocahontas is left alone. Believing he is dead she takes a husband, John Rolfe, but this is not the end of the story. There, I said it was going to be brief.
On the positive side this film is beautifully shot with some beautiful scenery and great set pieces. Performance-wise, nobody put a foot wrong, Colin Farrell did a fine job as Captain Smith, although I felt he was totally miscast (more on that later). Q'orianka Kilcher was also great as Pocahontas, as was Christopher Plummer as Captain Newport and Christian Bale as John Rolfe. It just didn’t have any energy about it. I felt so depressed by the time I got to the end of the two hours and thirty minutes.
On the casting, although I have nothing against Colin Farrell, he’s a fine actor who has appeared in some great films. I just felt he was totally wrong for this role, to have an Irish man (with an Irish accent) playing the part of an English man I find totally stupid and slightly offensive. But enough of that, back to the film, I it found quite boring and also very depressing. It’s very ‘artsy’ with the characters inner thoughts being voiced, but it just didn’t work for me. I will give it a half decent score for the visuals and the music wasn’t too bad either, but unless you’ve got a spare two hours and thirty minutes of you life you don’t want back… Not recommended.
My Score: 5.6/10
(RT = Rotten Tomatoes)
IMDb Page: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0402399/
RT Page: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1152954-new_world/
Official Site: http://www.newline.com/properties/newworldthe.html