Terrence Malick is a mysterious filmmaker who has done only five movies since he released his first one in 1972. His films have been considered as beautiful and one of a kind. It is no wonder why his latest project is getting all the hype.
It is a surprise that Malick releases To The Wonder two years after his last movie. He took almost a decade to make The Thin Red Line. People who have already watch To The Wonder would agree that it is a big letdown.
To The Wonder is about a romance that’s falling apart. Marina (Olga Kurylenko) is a lovesick Parisian who moves to the US with her boyfriend Neil (Ben Affleck). But as the movie progresses, the couple becomes unhappy and Neil is reacquainted with a former girlfriend (Rachel McAdams). Marina tries to find solace in a church where Father Quinta (Javier Bardem) is the resident priest.
The characters are lifeless as they move from one scene to another. The only good thing in To The Wonder is the scenery. They whisper about their emotions in monotonous voiceover. It feels like the characters are just playing second fiddle to the scenery.
Affleck and Kurylenko are devoid of any chemistry. It is unclear why they love each other and what problems they face. McAdams’ character is unnecessary and is only in the movie for 20 minutes and leaves without leaving any impression on viewers. Bardem’s character is placed in the story even though his character has no relation to the story at all.
It is clear that Malick prioritized scenery over directing the actors. The characters are one dimensional. The actors look confused about what to do from one scene to another. They transition from being happy one scene to being disillusioned the next. The movie lacks genuine substance as a whole.