The Tree of Life is an attempt to capture a snapshot of a human and our planet’s life through film and I think that Terrence Malick accomplishes this daunting task while leaving you with plenty to mull over after the credits role.
The film looks at the life of our protagonist, Jack, from his birth to his likely early teenage years. Scenes of Jack’s youth are surrounded by departures into the Earth’s origins and Jack’s later years as an adult. The future segments, relative to the main 50′s story line, are dreamlike, abstract, and seem to mainly take place on some meta-physical plain inside Jacks mind or beyond. To dive more into that might be spoiler, but the past segments you aren’t really privy too go way back; to the beginning of Earth’s and the Universe’s existence to be exact.
The film’s first forty minutes are mostly without dialogue, the majority of which is heard through voice over, but is stunningly beautiful and is accompanied by a fantastic music. Whether it’s Alexander Desplat’s score, a selection of classical music or a rousing piece of opera, the music in the film is perfectly paired with the astonishing images put on the screen. Whether Malick takes us into space and through a galaxy, intimately spying on Jack’s first crush or staring at Jack’s new born feet, we can’t look away.