KNIGHT OF CUPS – Rated R

Knight of cups

Brought to us by writer and director Terrance Malick ~ who has brought such unconventional films as BADLANDS, THE THIN RED LINE and THE TREE OF LIFE to the big screen, comes another film that is both psychologically and cinematically PROVOCATIVE and DIFFERENT~ This is KNIGHT OF CUPS.

When we meet Rick (Christian Bale), he is struggling with his life in LA, searching for a depth of understanding to his past, and his present, which for some reason seems to elude him.

While struggling to find balance in his relationship with both his father Joseph (Brian Dennehy), and his brother Barry (Wes Bentley), after the death of his brother Billy, Rick decides that the best way to come to terms with his screwed up life, is to find solace in arms of women, both from his past, and his present, in an attempt to make sense of his mere existence…

While searching for answers, Rick finds the perfect distraction to help him relieve his woes with the sensuous Della ~ but when that relationship fizzles as fast as it starts, Rick decides to backtrack, as he reaches out to his ex-wife Nancy (Cate Blanchett), hoping for some resolution. But, sadly finds no resolve in reliving this relationship, and its shortcoming again either. Our Prince then marches on to form a sexual relationship with the beautiful model Helen (Frieda Pinto), who is tickling his fancy, making everything bad in his life seem to fade away. But, as Rick finds soon enough, this relationship is not fulfilling either, leaving him in a sense of limbo.   As he struggles to find self acceptance within any aspect of his life, Rick finds himself in a new relationship with a married woman named Elizabeth (Natalie Portman), who finds herself torn within her own struggles between her love for Rick, her husband, oh, and the new baby she is going to have…

Lost amongst the highs and lows of his self induced situations, Rick decides to trail off into a world of ecstasy with his new friend & Stripper Karen (Theresa Palmer), who is helping Rick expand his mind, and his sexual escapades as well…

Lost in a world of lust, greed, and self-destruction that only oneself can create, Rick tries desperately to move to a positive place within his life, with love interest Isabel (Isabel Lucas) ~ and it seems that this time…he may have just figured out a way to get it right after all…

I give KNIGHT OF CUPS a rating of DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY!! Even though Terrance Malick is known for producing films that don’t usually entertain the masses, I was hoping from this cast, and it’s most unusual storyline, that the intrigue of it all was going to WIN ME OVER ~ but, in the end, only the unconventional cinematography caught my attention in a few places, and that was all. Bale’s portrayal this time around is okay, as he plays the quirky and confused Rick, and Dennehy and Bentley are average too in their respective roles, attempting to bring some sense of meaning and responsibility to Rick’s messed up life. But that is where the positives ended for me. Blanchett and Portman’s characters were so subpar for the caliber of acting that they both possess; it becomes almost ridiculous to watch. And, as the story unfolds, it seems that everyone is just a cast aside afterthought for Bale’s character, which adds little to no dimension to what is unfolding on screen at all. Suffice to say that I suggest you avoid this sad little film at all costs, as it truly will make you feel as if you just wasted good money, and two entire hours of your life, that sadly, you are never going to get back…

Kathy Kaiser