Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Thin Red Line

Movie Name: The Thin Red Line
Year of Release: 1998
Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Sean Penn, Adrien Brody, Jim Caviezel, Ben Chaplin, George Clooney, John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Elias Koteas, Nick Nolte, John C. Reilly, John Travolta, Dash Mihok, Jared Leto, Nick Stahl, Miranda Otto, John Savage, Tim Blake Nelson
Genre: Drama, War
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 8
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis & Review:
"The Thin Red Line" was Terrence Malick's fourth feature, following a twenty year gap since his last one, the fantastic "Days of Heaven" which premiered in 1978. The reclusive director has since then went on to direct more features, but "The Thin Red Line" was at the time his big comeback and as such attracted a huge array of talented actors. The film is an adaptation of James Jones' novel, and follows the story of a group of young soldiers during the second World War, specifically during the battle of Guadalcanal. This particular group of soldiers endures hardship in order to secure a strategically-positioned airfield. As these soldiers experience the horrors of war, the bonds between them tighten.
Terrence Malick's films are traditionally interesting in their concept and most of the times in their execution. The director has tried for most of his career to capture the perfect (and elusive) balance of visual/filmic and poetry, one that encompasses his views of the world. Throughout his features, his focus has been the relationship of humankind with Nature, and the dynamics of families. This can be seen in "The Thin Red Line", which starts with a premise of being a film focused on the events of World War II, and rapidly becomes something quite different. The director is more interested in witnessing and capturing the way the soldiers relate to their environment and to each other. There are glimpses into the lives they have left behind, with their inner thoughts exposing their fears and desires. It's a film that shows a different side to the nightmarish world of war. It features great performances from Sean Penn, Nick Nolte and Jim Caviezel (it was his breakout role). The cinematography from John Toll is stunning as is the score of Hans Zimmer. A great film from a distinct voice in film making.