Days of Heaven Film Details
Overview: A hot-tempered farm laborer convinces the woman he loves to marry their rich but dying boss so that they can have a claim to his fortune.
Tagline: Your eyes… Your ears… Your senses… will be overwhelmed.
Review: This movie is a complete mess. I find it astonishing that it gained so much praise and so many high ratings. I think it should be regarded to a degree as a comedy, because there are so many things in the movie that lack coherence, integrity and, must of all, a plain sense of just about anything. For starters, the story isn’t either original nor great. It’s a classic love triangle, that could be solidified by a much better script. Because the script is…just lazy – the dialogue between the characters is short, empty and doesn’t add anything to any kind of depth. The characters are dull, even the acting is, in my opinion, very forced (I mean, their expressions are always the same throughout the whole film, which is indeed a very comic element), there’s no evident reason why anybody should care about them. Hell, most of them don’t even have names, which adds to the numbness of their story-arc. Because there is hardly a story arc anywhere – beyond the soapy, almost pathetic role of the protagonists. So yeah, we are left with almost no story at all, because the most of it just flows around the classic love/hate relationships, but in such a yawny, a-hundred-times-seen manner that you know what’s going to happen in the first half of the movie. Then we have the “narrator”, which is plain horrible. Or maybe the most comic part of the movie. Both actually. It seems like it’s (it’s a “she”, the fish – faced girl who “portraits” the main protagonist Bill’s little sister) just rambling about and on and on about that or this nonsense. At moments it seems that she’s trying really “hard” to get some point or other across, but then just returns to her non-coherent babbling about some ghost touching her neck “or somethin’. Her vocabulary is really, um, limited, her accent isn’t even Chicago oriented, like the movie states it to be (thank you Qatacyo) and her talent to tell is just…not a talent. Really. I don’t know what Malick was thinking while choosing her as the narrator, but he really should be forever imbarrased by his choice. As the whole story “progresses”, we learn nothing new. After Bill gets himself finally killed, it looks like we wasted 3/4 of the film, because life really just goes on for his lover and his little sister like nothing ever happened. The ending is pure “wtf” to me. Like the whole film actually. Of course, with Malick you know that there’s going to be some really beautiful photography and cinematic awesomeness ahead. About that, I can’t complain – the shots of the nature, surroundings, pastoral fields, animals and insects are really stunning. But that’s the only thing in the film that is really worth praising for. And I can’t rate this movie higher than 3/10, because everything else pretty much sucks and just shows all the impatience and suffering the director had to go through in the two years of editing after the shoot. It really shows that he pretty much knew that it’s going to end up in a mess. We see that in the way the scenes blend together with no elemental feeling of the story – there’s a scene, it’s short, we get three lines of dialog and then he pushes us in a new scene that just repeats the formula again and again, without even the slightest coherence. It’s all so painfully random and shallow, even the scenes that are supposed to be important “or somethin'”. So even in this aspect we are left with a couple of nice, really beautiful shots that can’t really follow the story around, because it’s so weak and tells us absolutely nothing of a real value. I enjoyed for example The Thin Red Line greatly – although the story again isn’t that much original, it’s pieced together in a skillful way. Professional. The same goes for The Tree of Life. And I dig Tarkovski or Kubrick (and many others), who both did manage to blend together average stories with great cinematography with stunning results. So I guess it’s not about either the story element vs. the cinematography element, but it’s rather a clever and passionate unison of both that make great, exciting and everlasting masterpieces of cinema. Days of Heaven fails the exam on almost every basic field and remains one of my biggest film disappointments. Or maybe just a big laugh. “…and stuff.”
Country: United States
Language: English, Italian
Duration: 94 min
Genre: Drama, Romance
Also known as: Himmelska dagar,Dias de Paraíso,Дні жнив,Días del cielo,Niebiańskie dni,Божанствени дани,天堂之日,Days of Heaven,Himlen på jorden,Tage des Himmels,Dani Raja,Zile în paradis,Bozanstveni dani,I giorni del cielo,Mennyei napok,Ημέρες ευτυχίας,Rojaus dienos,Dias do Paraíso,Cennet günleri,Cinzas no Paraíso,Les moissons du ciel,Tengoku no hibi,Días de gloria,Himmelske dager,Roozhay-e behesht,Onnellisten aika,Božanski dnevi,Дни жатвы,Райски дни,Meres eftyhias,天国の日々,Días de Gloria,Nebeski dani,Dni niebios,Ngày Thiên Đường,In der Glut des Südens