adamhope’s review published on Letterboxd:
‘Knight of Cups’ shares the visual exuberance and interest in the dynamic between nature and man of ‘The Thin Red Line’ but takes the narrative issues of that film to extremes which I doubted were possible going in, despite the alarming reviews I had read.
Some of this is just incomprehensible and most of what can be understood, can’t be in one viewing, as far as I can tell.
This is film is stylistically interesting, with a limited but enticing score - unexpected Burial during the strip club scene was a highlight, although the music from the trailer, which recurs throughout, works best in emotionally charged scenes. The gorgeous cinematography from Emmanuel Lubezki turns an unclear sequence of moments focused on a man of dubious moral values into a spectacle worth watching, even if only for its aesthetic value.
I’ll definitely return to this film. I especially value the way it explores Rick’s relationships by giving the audience insight into his most intimate and poignant moments with others - this creates an abundance of quite touching segments in the film, which in the end feels like a bank of these with some skyline-staring interspersed between. I do find its preoccupation with highlighting the main character’s distraction, alienation and purposelessness over and over again frustrating but I’m intrigued by the overall meaning of it. If an overarching message exists in ‘Knight of Cups’, I have failed to grasp it fully in my first watch.