Dragonknight’s review published on Letterboxd:
”You shall love, whether you like it or not."
To the Wonder shows that sometimes even a visionary and innovative director like Terrence Malick makes terrible mistakes, despite all its problems To the Wonder is still a very beautiful film with some pleasant pictures shot by Emmanuel Lubezki and some reasonable performances, there are moments that it comes very close to the quality of Malick’s best but its problem is that the director’s overconfidence after The Tree of Life has led to a completely incomprehensible film which seems to suffer from dementia, only speaking about important issues like love and faith doesn’t make a film important, a motion-picture should have a convincing structure and To the Wonder lacks that. Malick’s films have never been like conventional films, his films always feature narrations, floating pictures and characters who are emotionally and intellectually complex and sometimes even problematic, his films are more like poems but even a poem should has some kind of structure, a poet can’t write down anything that comes to his mind and then publish them as poems, there should be some discipline, how can you understand something that seems to have no arrangement?
One of the biggest problems of To the Wonder is that its characters are dull and lethargic, although Olga Kurylenko does her best and gives a very compassionate performance but it is hard to connect with a character who doesn't seem to have a motive and just walks around and talks to herself about her feelings, and what about Ben Affleck? What is his role in the film? Characters who doesn't have motives can’t come alive and when it comes to character development To the Wonder always stays at the surface.
To the Wonder is a step backward for Terrence Malick, there is no doubt about his talents as a director and screenwriter but he is a human being after all and can make mistakes sometimes, let’s just wait for his upcoming films. Let’s hope he gives us another Days of Heaven or Badlands or Thin Red Line.