Knight of Cups is a confirmation of Terrence Malick’s trajectory towards abstract poetry. This work, as well as his previous visual poem To the Wonder, is concise compared to his lengthier films, but Malick’s style still resembles that of a child who refuses to know when to return home from play. Here he shadows lothario screenwriter Rick (Christian Bale), wandering through LA, abstractedly chronicling his dreamlike encounters with a series of women.
The feature should be regarded as something to be experienced and not critically defined. Via reflection, it sensually taps into an honesty that is often clouded by the human endeavour to create a version of truth through understanding. Together, Rick and the narrator come to portray how truth – if it exists – is an instinctive and unspoken feeling, emphasised by Nancy’s (Cate Blanchett) attempt to try to make sense of Rick, herself and their failed relationship. Meanwhile, the recurring woodwind theme majestically but with subtlety reflects the contradictory light and heavy soul of the film and its character.
Knight of Cups is out for home entertainment release courtesy of StudioCanal.
1. Still from Terence Malick’s Knight of Cups. Courtesy of StudioCanal.