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The Thin Red Line – A Review

July 3, 2007

Awe and wonder aren’t often found in movie theatres. For the most part we make do with excitement, laughter, shock or tears. In war movies, especially, awe and wonder seem antithetical to audience expectations; we’ve only just got used to realism – why tax us with grace? War movies should be about the horror of war; we should come away from war movies traumatised, like good soldiers. When The Thin Red Line opened to audiences in 1998, a lot of people thought director Terrence Malick had missed the point… all those shots of flora and fauna and seemingly nothing felt, no tears or cheers, no-one to care about in the thicket of his cast… But a lot of people were wrong about this movie; wrong about its goals, wrong about its failings, wrong even about its genre – since it isn’t a war movie at all, it’s a prayer.

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