Rick is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles, California. While he's successful in his career, his life feels empty. Haunted by the death of one brother and the dire circumstances of the other, he finds temporary solace in the Hollywood excess that defines his existence. Women provide a distraction to the daily pain he must endure, and every encounter that comes his way brings him closer to finding his place in the world. The film is divided into eight chapters (each named after a tarot card, except for the final chapter Freedom), plus a prologue, each loosely based around the central character's relationship with somebody in his life..
In keeping with Malick's notoriety of constantly re-editing his works, some of the excerpted clips released for promotion before the movie's release ended up not being used, or very differently edited in the final cut. See more »
You gave me peace. You gave me what the world can't give. Mercy. Love. Joy. All else is cloud. Mist. Be with me. Always.
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"For optimal sound reproduction, the producers of this film recommend that you play it loud." (In the opening credits.) See more »
Knight of Cups was a very different subject than I was expecting from director Terrence Malick. Few directors delve into the raw emotional content that carries us through our daily narrative. Most of his films approach the viewer from the very abstract to the rather mundane. I was quite impressed with most of his previous work, but I failed to grasp what was going on here.
Christian Bale confirmed in an interview with The Guardian, a few things that people should know before watching this film. Mostly that the director did very little in terms of actual direction and scripting. Every scene in this film was either unscripted or improvised. Actors were playing off each other and had very little to go off of scene by scene.
Bale plays a successful Hollywood Screenwriter, who is haunted by his traumatic past and fails at most of his relationships. Not out of poor decisions but because he seems lost more than anything. The events that lay before him are strange and somewhat unconnected, but the recurring theme of his affairs, love interests, and strange breathy narration (which is fairly typical for Malick's films), make this film somewhat of a repeating loop of the same events over and over again. You're left a bit confused at the end wondering, what was this film about. There are some beautiful shots in it, yet still a difficult movie to follow.
A rather contemporary, if unguided effort on the director's part, and falls somewhat flat next to his more spectacular body of work.
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