Sunday, 28 October 2012

Days Of Heaven (1978)

Tom:
Days Of Heaven,1978, USA
Director: Terrence Malick
Stars: Richard Gere,Brooke Adams & Sam Shepard


''I was hopin' things would work out for her. She was a good friend of mine.''
 
Terrence Malick's 'Days Of Heaven' truly embodies the beauty of film. The film is only rivaled by the likes of Stanley Kubrick's ''2001: A Space Odyssey'' & ''Barry Lyndon'' when it comes to the most beautiful and awe inspiring imagery ever put on film.

The film tells the tale of a brother Bill (Richard Gere), His sister Linda (Linda Manz) and his girlfriend Abby (Brooke Adams) who he refers to as his sister to prevent misconceptions. After Bill is fired from his job at a steel mill the three travel across country until they,along with many others, find work on a farm owned by a farmer (Sam Shepard), who falls in love with Abby and asks her along with Bill and Linda to stay on the farm after all the seasonal workers leave. The Farmer is terminally ill so Abby decides to marry him in order for the three to inherit his money when he passes. The Farmer eventually becomes of their plans which creates a love triangle.

With a plot like 'Days of Heaven' features, The Director Malick walks a thin line of easy falling into melodrama. Luckily the man knows how to prevent that as he puts more emphasis on the atmosphere,the tones and the environment rather than the performances and characters, which is a large risk but Malick is able to orchestrate it to near perfection.

Malick has gained as much criticism as he has admiration over the years, Mainstream audiences usually complain his films are too slow or too pretentious and self indulgent. To me, this is a moot point, Terrence Malick creates unforgettable experiences, truly unique films that have the ability to divide audiences and be talked about for decades. 'Days Of Heaven' is a perfect example of that, The film has been ridiculed on one hand for being a 'chore' to watch, and hailed on the other hand as a masterpiece of cinema, Personally I'm one of those hailing it.

A masterpiece on all the technical levels, beautifully photographed, Incredible cinematography, solid performances and very well executed by Malick. Richard Gere gives the performance of his career, Sam Shepard is great as is Brooke Adams, and the young Linda Manz is very good.

The film is truly an enthralling and beautiful experience and one that I cant recommend highly enough. The film truly captures your imagination from the first frame to the last, and willing to take the journey you will have one of the greatest experiences film can provide.

''Nobody’s perfect. There was never a perfect person around. You just have half-angel and half-devil in you.''

*****

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