"He said that if they dug his father's body up, it would be gone. They planted a seed over his grave. The seed became a tree. Moses said his father became a part of that tree. He grew into the wood, into the bloom. And when a sparrow ate the tree's fruit, his father flew with the birds. He said... death was his father's road to awe."
Few movies have been as stunning to me as this one. And so I feel that I should share this one with you all because of the epic quality, storytelling, and stunning visuals. I saw this movie for the first time with my step-mother. We had only seen a few previews beforehand and weren't sure exactly what we were up for. I had lost my father a few years before viewing this film. Which I believe is part of the reason why I am so touched by this movie while others are so negative.
The story unfolds with Tom, a cancer researcher who is married to Izzy. Tom is avidly working on a cure for cancer, with help from his chimp test subject. Soon after you find out about his work you learn that his wife is in the late stages of cancer. She is writing a book that details a romantic story between the queen of Spain and a conquistador. She sends the conquistador on a search in the New World for the Tree of Life. This story unfolds while jumping between modern times/conquistador Tom/and a futuristic Tom who is travelling to a dying star. Or as we learn from Izzy, Xibalba, where the Mayans believed the underworld was.
Many people were lost in the myriad of symbols and time jumps that make up this film. But at the heart of it there is a story of accepting death. And not only for yourself, but for those people you love most. As you follow the story you can watch as Tom goes through the stages of grieving. This emotional quality is what made me watch this movie so many times. And to mention, I am a big sucker for symbolic imagery.
This is really a beautiful film, it has amazing visual effects and a wonderful soundtrack. If you don't like long, somewhat confusing story lines, weird Mayan priests, or bald men floating in outer space, skip this film. Otherwise, sit down, relax, and let the story unfold.