With Knight of Cups, Writer/Director Terence Malick has quite clearly gone for style over substance. Creating something quite visually stunning but as for storyline and plot he has abandoned any logical thinking.
Knight of Cups has a handful of the big Hollywood actors; Christian Bale takes the lead as an LA Screenwriter. The incredible Cate Blanchett playing his ex-wife, Wes Bentley as Bale’s brother and Natalie Porter as his married lover who he just happens to get pregnant. Antonio Banderas and a smattering of other actors also make brief appearances. For an actor, to be in a Malick film is a prestigious accolade, surely this can be the only reason such revered names would be involved with a project which – quite frankly – will put you into a meditative state.
Whilst Malick tries to portray something deep and meaningful in his writing of this nonstory, we witness Bale struggle through his over privileged life after losing his brother. Each part of the story cut into titled chapters to describe each monotonous part of the life of this rich socialite who will sleep with anyone in his elitist circle, such as Frieda Pinto and Imogen Poots. The film may be laden with acting royalty but they really aren’t needed as most of the film is aided by a detached voice-over narration – all of which is quite poetic but makes absolutely no sense.
The stunning cinematography is the handy work of Emmanuel Lubezki – the very person who won an Oscar for The Revenant, Gravity, and Birdman. The visual delight never comes into question as each scene ponders on large landscapes of green scenery one minute to looking up at the looming modern buildings of a city to traffic on looping highways. If that wasn’t enough to endure witnessing a mostly bare-footed Bale and the rest of the cast meaninglessly meandering around objects and prancing around like an artistic dancer will leave you feeling nothing but sleep inducing pain.
N.B. This critic actually nodded off on a couple of occasions it was that relaxing……
Knight of Cups is out in Cinemas May 6.