The Tree of Life (2011)
Title in Spanish: El Árbol de la Vida
Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Brad Pitt (Mr. O’Brien, dad), Sean Penn (Jack O’Brian grown up), Jessica Chastein (Mrs. O’Brien, mom)
Note: This is a Coment inspired in the ‘Family Dinner: Then and Now’ by Revolt Against aka Flavia, a blog that makes me feel a lot of nostalgia. This is a comment that the wordpress system blocked me because ‘I typed bad the key’. I have to fix this soon.
Yesterday I saw the “Tree of Life”… Very weird film, you could watch it high on LSD or Marijuana and you could enjoy it more than me, but there were parts that I could identify as a ‘then and now’ of the current west culture: the 50’s and the 201x post “Womens lib” world…
For some moments I thought the movie was showing images of the big bang, the origin of the world, the cambric period and some dinosaurs (I wanted to watch a paleo T-Rex killing some vegans, not some lame dinosaurs doing nothing) and that was a sort of representation of God and the Nature or Gaia or who knows what was all that symbology (¿?), all that in a movie with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn (I don’t know what he did in this movie apart from walking lost in a desert).
After some of these psedo creationist-pseudo evolutionist portrayal of the beggining of the Universe, the movie showed the 50’s: suburban and very calm middle class life, Brad Pitt working and the mom taking care of his children during the day.
When Brad Pitt (the dad) arrived at home, the mom had the dinner ready and they called home the kids who were playing outside in the woods. They didn’t have conversations, I doubt there was even a lineal plot, but as I saw, they loved each other.
The Mom played with the kids very softly (I think she represents some kind of ideal of the virginal and affectionate mother who’s there to give us love and tenderness no matter what), she was affectionate and Brad Pitt (father) played with the kids to teach them how the world is a rough place, that they have to be strong and do what they want to do, never allowing other people what they can’t do and becoming succesful in what they love, not like him who could have become a very grat inventor and pianist (despite that, he loves and protects his family, they’re the only thing he has). The dad was the authority and the mother was the tenderness, always complementing each other.
I think i’ts a movie that is worth a second look because you can miss some details, I felt asleep for some moments but I can’t say I was bored, I was in a state of reflection. It’s a complicate movie not apt for all the audiences, for example, I hated the reaction of the theater when in one of those family dinners one of the boys was defying his father and he corrected him, made him respect his authority, but the public saw the father as ‘the bad guy’, the ‘patriarcal and opressive father’ for correcting his kids and trying to teach them some discipline (cleaning the lawn, helping with some of the housework, etc) for dealing with the rough & tough world. Even one of the kids, Tyler, said he hated his father and preached god for his death.
Tyler, grown up (played by Sean Penn), felt a constant feeling of loss and emptiness, he loved his father, he never hated him, he just was confused, and he wants him back. The grown up Tyler represents, in my opinion, the modern feeling of emptiness from knowing that somethin in this world is terribly corrupt, he is nostalgic of his childhood in that 50’s time when he was a kid who had a family, when he had a father who teached him about the world and he wasn’t lonely and misguided in a desert of metal buildings.