Film Screening 8th March, 2016

Poster for Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups 

7:30 PM, 8th March, 2016

  • M
  • 118 mins
  • 2015
  • Terrence Malick
  • Terrence Malick
  • Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Antonio Banderas

Knight of Cups is Terrence Malick’s latest film. For most film buffs that sentence alone is likely enough for them to decide whether they want to see it or not. The film is another exercise along the same lines as Malick’s acclaimed Tree of Life; it’s the story of a man rather than a story about a man. Conventional plot and structure were never even in the room to let them be thrown out the window. The film follows its protagonists with beautifully shot, dream-like visuals as the subconscious thoughts of the characters narrate. Much like Tree of Life, the big-screen experience is essential to appreciate the visuals and be hypnotised by the narrative.

Through a series of chapters, each themed on a different Tarot card, Knight of Cups explores the different relationships in a particular man’s life (the titular Knight of Cups, played suitably dreamily by Christian Bale). That man is a successful Hollywood type, not that it really matters – the important element is that he is someone outwardly successful but inwardly unfulfilled and in constant need of change. Different chapters follow his relationships with the many women in his life over the years (played by Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Theresa Palmer, Isabel Lucas, Imogen Poots), his father (Brian Dennehy), his brother (Wes Bentley), and his friends (Antonio Banderas, Jason Clarke, Joel Kinnaman, Michael Wincott). Though it features a truly A-list cast, the star of the show remains the film’s dreamy narrative approach.

Adam Gould