Bobby Platt is a mentally slow young man who escapes an abusive, hateful stepfather who has killed his pets one by one. To save himself, Bobby runs away and meets a strange old man who ... See full summary »
Captain Smith is spared his mutinous hanging sentence after captain Newport's ship arrives in 1607 to found Jamestown, an English colony in Virginia. The initially friendly natives, who have no personal property concept, turn hostile after a 'theft' is 'punished' violently on the spot. During an armed exploration, Smith is captured, but spared when the chief's favorite daughter Pocahontas pleads for the stranger who soon becomes her lover and learns to love their naive 'savage' way of harmonious life. Ultimately he returns to the grim fort, which would starve hadn't she arranged for Indian generosity. Alas, each side soon brands their own lover a traitor, so she is banished and he flogged as introduction to slavish toiling. Changes turn again, leading Smith to accept a northern-more mission and anglicized Pocahontas, believing him dead, becoming the mother of aristocratic new lover John Rolfe's son. They'll meet again for a finale in England. Written by
Let me first say that I am a big fan of historical epics. As a matter of fact I joyfully sat through all 6+ hours of Bertolucci's "1900" in one sitting at a revival house; in short, I am not some dolt who wandered in because "Underworld 2" was sold out.
That said and trying to avoid hyperbole, this is among the most pretentious, self-flaggelating, ponderous pieces of bullshit ever forced upon an unsuspecting public. I was so bored I actually felt nauseated.
Mr. Malick does not know the first thing about dramatic writing-that is why 60% of the words heard in the film are voiceovers by John Smith, Pocohontas and The Tobacco Farmer That Looks Like a Movie Star-who even though they are respectively a military man, a Native American princess and a One Dimensional Plot Device all narrate with essentially the same voice. This gets old rather quickly. If all three of these characters have the ability to narrate, then from whose perspective is the story unfolding? The answer to that question is the obsessive camera that luxuriates on floral shots that look like they are outtakes from Walt Disney's True Life Adventure Series, while the real action is relegated offstage.
It is surely a case of The Emperor Has No Clothes here, people are afraid to call the movie painfully dull due to the pretensions of artsy-fartsy that are present; worried they will be accused of "not getting it." This is the reason that the reviews amongst professional critics are evenly split 50/50 between raves and pans, very few are middle ground. This alone should warn the moviegoer that one should tread forward with great caution if planning to see this snoozefest.
One last thought: He cut seventeen minutes from this? If it had gone on for seventeen minutes longer I would have woven Ju-Ju Bees into a rope and hung myself.
98 of 178 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?