I went to see The New World on the weekend as planned. I'm still on the fence about this movie. Don't get me wrong, any movie with Christian Bale in it is worth sitting through in my estimation (this is the only explanation I can give for having suffered through A Mid Summer Night's Dream), and the movie was definitely well done and worth the critical acclaim it got. But it wasn't your typical Hollywood movie.
Terence Malick definitely has his own style, and while I was expecting this, there were times during the first half when I was sitting there unsure of exactly what point a certain scene had. (Picture me in the theatre thinking, does this scene move the story forward...?) Granted part of this might have been my impatience waiting for CB's character to show up on screen, which didn't actually happen until the last half of the movie, and once he did show up the story seemed to gel together more because this is when it really seemed to become more of an active story, where things began to change and move.
I did like the movie, but I can't say that I loved it. Although there were aspects of it that I loved. The historical element was fascinating, and the attention to detail amazing. The characters were definitely fleshed out, but a lot of that came more from the actors' portrayal and the overlaying narrative than through action. Most of what you saw of the characters was through their expressions, as there was truly little dialogue, save for the three of them - John Smith (Farrell), Pocahontas (can't even attempt to spell this girl's real name, and oddly the name Pocahontas was never used in the movie), and John Rolfe (Bale) - doing the narration bit which sounded mostly as if the characters were reading from a diary they had written. That part I really liked because the language used was quite mesmerizing.
I did appreciate seeing a different style of movie that the usual Hollywood fare though, and while the movie was slow, I'm glad I went. Christian Bale, as always, put in an awesome performance. The girl playing Pocahontas was amazing as well and Colin Farrell managed not to annoy me.
So if you like a different type of movie and don't mind slower paced, creative storytelling outside the box, and are also a history buff or Bale/Farrell fan, I would recommend the movie. But if do go be forewarned, it's not your usual slickly produced Hollywood movie. And you have to wait well over an hour before Christian Bale enters the picture.