Neil (Ben Affleck) is an American traveling in Europe who meets and falls in love with Marina (Olga Kurylenko), a Ukrainian divorcée who is raising her 10-year-old daughter Tatiana in Paris. The lovers travel to Mont St. Michel, the island abbey off the coast of Normandy, basking in the wonder of their newfound romance. Neil makes a commitment to Marina, inviting her to relocate to his native Oklahoma with Tatiana. He takes a job as an environmental inspector and Marina settles into her new life in America with passion and vigor. After a holding pattern, their relationship cools. Marina finds solace in the company of another exile, the Catholic priest Father Quintana (Javier Bardem), who is undergoing a crisis of faith. Work pressures and increasing doubt pull Neil further apart from Marina, who returns to France with Tatiana when her visa expires. Neil reconnects with Jane (Rachel McAdams), an old flame. They fall in love until Neil learns that Marina has fallen on hard times. ... Written by
A Rhythmic Design of Life Around Sustaining Love and Faith
Terence Malick surprises everyone with a new release of romantic drama within two years from his previous film Tree of Life, an epitome of Malick's cosmic fixations, whereas this film can be called as a younger sibling to it. 'To the Wonder' is a courageous movie presenting beautiful images as Terence's film always does, with subject matter concerned with love and God and consequences of absence of either. Malick's visual majestic language involves the prudent style of whispered narrative, an overwhelming orchestral score and circling camera-work along with silent outdoor memory sequences across sunsets evoking the hidden emotions of the characters.
We also see memories from two intense but ultimately inharmonious relationships which take the voice-over techniques, with some of the aspects of the story involving a foreign wife and an encounter with a previously known woman are said to be autobiographical for Malick. The majestic nature shots are signposts for his spiritual obsessions with most dramatic image of the movie captures Neil and his former girlfriend in the middle of a bright green field surrounded by buffalo, a prominent portrait of the American dream that cohesively connects to the context of the narrative.
Olga Kurylenko portrays great skills in playing Marina, has a dominating presence with Ben Affleck and Rachael Mcadams giving a convincing performance.The movie is visually ravishing and there is a spellbinding quality to the cutting style, creating a unique ambiance to every frame. Marina's life is in a constant state of change but the film encompasses its holy beauty in the hidden rhythmic structure which resembles the ever-changing seasons, diverse emotions and conflict within relationships due to difficulty in sustaining love and faith.
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