Trailer’s like the new one for Terrence Malick’s latest film, Knight of Cups, can be difficult to describe. While you see a lot, it's hard to put everything you see into a clear context. This is something that Malick makes a habit of. What we have here is strange, flashy, and oddly beautiful, with a phenomenal cast to boot. Check out the trailer below and see what you think.
"No one cares about reality anymore," says one of the voices in the trailer, and that certainly appears to be the case. This video is a mass of images, but few that go together. At the center of it all is Christian Bale, who seems to be both part of all of it as well as standing outside of it all at the same time. Knight of Cups features Bale as a Hollywood executive who is simultaneously addicted to his success but also finds his life to be empty. He tries to fill this hollowness with Hollywood excess, but with limited success. There are several women in his life, including Cate Blanchett and Natalie Portman, but it doesn’t look like he’s really getting much out of it.
The title is fitting. In the tarot, the Knight of Cups is a card that signifies emotion. Depending on how it lands, it can speak to how somebody is driven by their passions, or how an individual can let their passion take control of them. This appears to be Bale’s conflict, though we’re only guessing, it’s hard to tell.
The production of Knight of Cups was as strange as the movie itself appears to be. Malick is actually working on two films at pretty much the same time, and the second film also includes Bale, Portman, and Blanchett. While Bale is the star of this one, he actually expects to be edited out of the other film entirely, after not working as long as anticipated. The idea that Bale could be completely cut out is far from a crazy idea. It’s happened before, as Adrien Brody’s part in The Thin Red Line went from a lead to essentially non-existent following Malick’s sweeping edits.
Malick is either a genius or a lunatic, possibly both, and Knight of Cups certainly looks like it will help to reinforce this idea. Christopher Plummer says he’ll never work with the man again following the time they shared together on The New World. With reactions like that, it’s a wonder that he found three actors willing to work with him on back-to-back movies.
For all their wild idiosyncrasies, if you’re a fan of Terrence Malick films, this one will likely scratch that same itch. Knight of Cups hits theaters in March.