Edge

New World not for average audience

Terrence Malick has made four films in the last 32 years. The man likes to take his time. His newest effort, The New World, is a familiar story in a new context. Based on the well known the story of the founding of the Jamestown settlement and the fabled love story of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, but audiences have never quite heard or seen it like this.

The film starts off well enough, introducing to our captive Captain, John Smith (Colin Farrell) and his crew as they embark from England to Virginia. A quick setup already has viewers foreseeing the potential for what will be the turmoil between the Europeans and the “naturals” (the Native American locals). It’s not too surprising when the film then veers off course and focuses on the entangled relationship of Smith and his inquisitive “natural,” Pocahontas (Q’Orianka Kilcher).

The story of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas is Malick’s main dish. Any viewer gets the feeling Malick could spend hours having these two gush over each other without a hint of development or even a line of dialogue.

Consisting of mostly banal, toneless voiceovers by the main characters, The New World’s strength is in the beauty it finds within these character’s reactions with one another. There isn’t so much a story here as there are emotions and picturesque montages of nature. Each frame is filled with lavish scenery; it almost explodes like a bad impulse. Malick never restrains himself from showing as much as he can.

The New World is hard not to admire and, at the same time, hard to defend. It’s taxing two-and-a-half hour running time (20 minutes shorter than the original cut) sets audiences on a arduous journey that will result in numerous sighs and midpoint stretches. Even veteran historians might have trouble with the film’s pace.

The New World is a film to be respected more than enjoyed and it was clearly made for serious film connoisseurs and historians. For those who fall into those two titles, it’s worth a shot. For everyone else, it’s a dead end.

Danny Gordon can be contacted at d.gordon@umiami.edu.

January 27, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Either the Miami Hurricanes get a collective adrenaline rush from heart-palpitating fourth quarters, ...

Mark Richt is not overly concerned with depth. Not when the eighth-ranked Miami Hurricanes (6-0, 4-0 ...

After jumping three spots from No. 10 to No. 7 last week in the Amway Coaches Poll (one spot better ...

University of Miami weak-side linebacker Michael Pinckney is definitely old-school Miami Hurricane. ...

The question came straight at Ahmmon Richards, like a tight spiral. And this time, he was locked in. ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

The Hurricanes grabbed four interceptions and another ACC victory as they defeated Syracuse, 27-19, ...

The Miami women's tennis team wrapped up play Sunday the ITA Southeast Regional Championships P ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

Kolby Bird had a career-high 21 kills, but the Hurricanes dropped a five-set battle to Notre Dame on ...

The Miami soccer team recognized its four seniors Sunday afternoon and then dropped a hard-fought 2- ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.