“All those years, living the life of someone I didn’t even know,” mutters Christian Bale’s Rick in the poignant new trailer for Knight of Cups. Acting as Terrence Malick’s seventh directorial effort, the film charts the existential crisis experienced by Bale’s decorated screenwriter who, despite being surrounded by fame and excess, sleepwalks through life in search of a purpose.
Disorienting and visceral, the snippet for Malick’s latest can in many ways be seen as a reflection of the director’s own encounter with Hollywood, with the sombre voiceover and stirring music driving home the rapturous feeling experienced by Bale’s main lead. One thing’s certain: as this is the filmmaker’s first feature since To the Wonder almost four years ago – when Knight of Cups was shot back-to-back – we can readily expect his latest creative effort to draw the crowds.
In keeping with Malick’s M.O., the picture also boasts an impressive cast list, with Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy, Antonio Banderas, Thomas Lennon, and Jason Clarke completing the ensemble of the film, which is now finally edging closer to a release despite being complete for almost three years at this point.
Knight of Cups is due for a release on March 16, 2016. Meanwhile, you can next see Christian Bale amid Adam McKay’s star-studded ensemble for The Big Short come December 11.
Rick is a slave to the Hollywood system. He is addicted to success but simultaneously despairs at the emptiness of his life. He is at home in a world of illusions but seeks real life. Like the tarot card of the title, Rick is easily bored and needs outside stimulation. But the Knight of Cups is also an artist, a romantic and an adventurer. In Terrence Malick’s seventh film a gliding camera once again accompanies a tormented hero on his search for meaning. Once again a voiceover is laid over images which also seek their own authenticity.
And once again Malick seems to put the world out of joint. His symphonic flow of images contrasts cold, functional architecture with the ageless beauty of nature. Rick’s internal monologue coalesces with the voices of the women who cross his path, women who represent different principles in life: while one lives in the real world, the other embodies beauty and sensuality. Which path will Rick choose? In the city of angels and the desert that surrounds it, will he find his own way?