Aroview: An epic naturalist meditation on the European settlement of America from dir. Terrence Malick (DAYS OF HEAVEN), which reveals a thoughtful and at times, rapturous imagining of the legend of the 17th century romance between Native American Pocahontas and Englishman John Smith (Farrell).
Lensed with a magnificent attention to light, atmosphere and period detail of an Eden-like wilderness, struggling settlements and English court life, a convincing 'otherness' is conjured up, while performances from Farrell, Kilcher and Bale all present their own interesting ambiguities. However, it is true that an uncertainty of tone plagues Malick's vision - veering between beauty, pomposity and back again - for which the visual splendour does not always compensate, and narrative ellipses are all-too-easily patched with a predominance of voiceover (it was originally released in a 150-minute cut).
Finally though, as a kind of adventure in cinema, this is a worthy progression from the dir.'s THE THIN RED LINE, carrying with grace the symbolic weight of a promising, fraught and fumbled historical moment.