Knight of Cups ★★★½

Brooding, doubting male protagonist who's a man of few words – check
Hot women who crave for his love but he ain't giving it to them – check
Themes of love, lostness and loneliness that drive the characters – check
Classic music accompaniment and shots at the beach/underwater – check

If I'm not mistaken, this must be a Terrence Malick film – and so it is!

What is Knight of Cups about? Who can say. Christian Bale plays a screenwriter named Rick who I believe who once was (or maybe still is) married to Cate Blanchett's doctor. He has a brother played by Wes Bentley who seems to be an addict or at least bi-polar – both have a distraught relationship to their father, portrayed by Brian Dennehy, since their other brother died. (Sometimes it feels like this is a sequel of sorts to The Tree of Life with Dennehy taking over from Pitt and Bale from Penn.)

Rick is lost in this world, looking for his place – and for love. He doesn't love, but likes to be in love one character tells him. Throughout the film Rick will mingle with some supermodels in the form of Imogen Poots and Freida Pinto and also a night club dancer, played by Teresa Palmer. None of these women will give him what he seeks – neither will Natalie Portman's adulteress later on.

All of this happens during a running time of two hours which feel more like three – without boring you though. Watching these flickers of Rick's life is actually kind of mesmerizing in a way. Like Being John Malkovich – you're in the head of this guy, watching what he does but only periods of time of it. It fascinates you – without knowing why.

But overall this is no masterpiece. It is textbook Malick, you've seen it before. And probably will again in his next film. It's more engaging than To the Wonder but not as beautifully shot.

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