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The Tree of Life (2011) Movie Review

2001: A Space Odyssey has puzzled many movie-watchers because they have different film interpretations. To this day, many enthusiasts and cinephiles still try to dissect it and reveal its message. However, what blew my mind is that it premiered over 50 years ago when technology was still establishing itself and effects were not entirely utilized. It was way ahead of its time.

What if there were another movie that delivers the same feeling as 2001: A Space Odyssey but with a more modern approach? 2011's The Tree of Life has the same experience as that film but with a modern approach and a different plot.

Plot Overview

The Tree of Life features a lot of back-and-forth storytelling using mesmerizing flashbacks and other things.

Its story begins when the 19-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. O'Brien, R.L., died, which led to the family's relationship deteriorating. In the current timeline, their eldest son, Jack, a Dallas businessman, wonders why he feels unsuccessful in life. The movie spins around and features the universe's birth and the dinosaurs' extinction.

Jack was born around the 1940s. His parents are ecstatic, and he is soon followed by two brothers, R.L. and Stevie. As Jack grew up, he began to question many things, like the family's way of grace or the changes in nature. His mother, Mrs. O'Brien's, sees the world as a place of wonder and beauty, while his father, Mr. O'Brien, sees it as corrupt, vile, and a form of survival. Jack's perspective changes as he grows up. After seeing his friend drown, he questions why God allowed such a thing to happen. He concludes that if God can do malicious things, he can too. This is magnified when his father begins restricting them to many things, and his mother becomes a source of peace when he is not around.


The Tree of Life features the outstanding acting talents of Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn, and many more.

As puzzling as it can be, The Tree of Life is a cinematic experience. It's not like a coming-of-age drama or a comedy, but an adventure. You are driving on the road full of mysteries and spectacle. You may hit a couple of bumps in the road, but you enjoy it as it is.

Like 2001: A Space Odyssey, this film is also puzzling. It's not an easy watch and will keep your mind rolling because of the non-literal storyline. If you enjoy movies that can be interpreted differently, you should add this to your list.

A great 4 out of 5 stars.

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