Terrence Malick it is a curious personality and a very strange man. Taking off in the 1970s two films, he retired from film and began to lead a solitary life. Only in 1998 he returned to cinematic action. And if the first three film entered the Golden Fund of cinema and gained cult status in relation to other works of the author there is no consensus. Some call it late paintings of outstanding philosophical speculation, while others consider them meaningless nonsense, relating them to the category of schlock. But all these arguments are irrelevant to his debut picture, which is recognized as a benchmark of American cinema and listed on the national register of outstanding films.
The film is based on the real life story of American serial killer and robber of Charles Starkweather and his girlfriend caril Fugate. But it is in any case not a biopic, it only partially uses real historical events. This is purely the author’s film with an unusual structure of the plot, which does not fit into the standard framework crime film. The genre is existential drama, filmed in the popular road movie (road movie).
So what is this movie? About two criminals who are doing senseless evil? About an unusual love? No, this is a kind of poem about spiritual emptiness and inability to acquire a personality. But because the main character strongly imitates James Dean, copying his hairstyle and demeanor. That is, we have rebel without a cause, which does not have a clear plan for your life. His girlfriend appears even more distant and inert person. She has no personal opinion and is completely dependent on your boyfriend. Crimes make them famous all over America, but not the glory motivates young people, and the internal uncertainty. The structure of the film allows one to find a lot of philosophical sense, but others did not see anything.
Terrence Malick called a visual poet, and a lot of time on scenic personnel and elements of the environment, particularly nature. And already in a debut work it is possible to notice the emergence of a visionary style and manner of storytelling that have become an integral part of his directorial signature. Special attention is given music. The main melody of the film, captures the atmosphere of the film and the complacency of the characters.
Martin sheen and sissy Spacek appeared in the form of a couple of lovers who own worthlessness led to a series of bloody crimes. And they are perfectly coped with the task. Special drama here, but this is not a minus, because the characters initially do not allow to show diverse emotions and experiences. However, this does not prevent them to demonstrate confident play.
Wasteland is an original and unconventional crime drama. The film raises questions of existential freedom, spiritual emptiness and self-identity. But this is not highbrow cinema for moviegoers, but simply the author’s invention of the Director. Personally for me the film is not made strong impressions, as this is a purely American movie, but it definitely deserves your viewing.
7 out of 10