It is so difficult to not be evoked by anything Terrence Malick directs. He touches a moving frame and it flows like painting, whispers words and they turn into poetry, exposes pulsing wounds and they whirl into healing. A meditation in themselves, nearly all his experimental narrations have been transcending barring a mere few. But sadly, that’s where Song To Song finds itself, hanging onto the concepts of wisdom that just can’t be achieved by such paper thin of a plot.
It happened with To The Wonder, Terrence Malick lost track of his storyline and drifted into tangential themes, sometimes unrelated and often jarring. Song To Song suffers from similar illness, though, not to the same damaging extents. Set against Texas music scene, it captures rise and fall of love, success and destinies of four individuals whose lives are interlocked in innumerable ways. They float like feathers on the surface of a hurricane, impervious of the violent undercurrents their souls demand and ultimately, fall defenseless in front of the merciless power of love.
With thunderstorm of a star power, Emmanuel Lubezki as cinematographer and a drifting essence of direction from Malick, what missed the mark is lack of profundity. When the backdrop itself is music, it’s rather an acoustic shock to see the songs not making impacts they should as the emotional highs never hit the crescendo. However, Malick takes the shape of a rustic wind and moulds his characters through numerous circumstantial blows (caught as if all in a far-away dream) along a gradual arc, so much so, that we witness altered souls, when the affair ends.
Of unrequited love, passions that go beyond bones to make holes in souls, hearts that know nothing but unconditional romances and treacherous deceiving, Terrence Malick with Song To Song has crafted yet another disorienting portfolio of individuals sunk knee deep in betrayal and lost in the chaos of chasing dreams. It’s frustrating, maddening and yet, resoundingly beautiful.