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Forum namePass The Popcorn
Topic subjectthe theology behind To the Wonder:
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=6&topic_id=634879&mesg_id=657605
657605, the theology behind To the Wonder:
Posted by will_5198, Wed Aug-07-13 11:40 AM

"...This is due, in large part, to Malick's apparent biblical model this time out. For The Tree of Life, it's the Book of Job, a big, bold, dramatic text. To the Wonder, by contrast, seems to take its inspiration from the Song of Songs, a leaner and more lyrical text.

The mood of the film shifts mercurially as presence shifts to absence: "In my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not," laments the woman in the Song of Songs, "I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not" (3:1-2).

The desperate repetition of the refrain is echoed not only in the melancholic behavior of Olga Kurylenko as she misses Ben Affleck during their times of separation, but also in the mournful acknowledgment by Javier Bardem that his faith in God's love has been weakened, if not lost.

Malick is actively reflecting on the theological meaning of one of the Old Testament's strangest, most elusive—if brief and pleasurable—books. He is asking no smaller or less significant a question here than, what is the nature of love—what is the substance of it? Is the love that animates the bodies of lovers, that provokes such inexplicable despair in the absence of the other's form, the same love that binds man to God and God to his creations?

One need not believe to find the negotiation of these ideas fascinating, even exhilarating, especially when guided by Malick's singular poetic precision and uncommon thoughtfulness."