Rick is a very talented and successful, but unhappy Hollywood screenwriter, lost in the drain of a lethargic existence, constantly sliding in an endless cycle of infinite parties, alcohol abuse and different women. With a great pain inside, that even himself is unable to identify properly what it is, Rick vehemently anesthetizes himself in an indefinite set of partying, drugs and lethargy, loosing completely the track of his own life in the process, even forgetting who he really is. His relationship with his wife rapidly deteriorates, as he involves himself with other women, and his difficult relationship with his brother and his father also suffers from his lack of motivation. As everything in his life falls apart, Rick feels lost, and endures a sense of emptiness that renders him unable to change the self-destructive path on which his life is heading to.
Even for Terrence Malick, Knight of Cups can be considered a very different picture. Some innovative and modernist film techniques can be seen all the way through, although the notorious director is already well known for following unorthodox approaches for his movies. Unfortunately, what we have here is a very sad result. Despite the great cast of actors and actresses, that includes Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Antonio Banderas, Brian Dennehy, Wes Bentley and Teresa Palmer, the movie is dull and boring. With a weak script and an inexistent storyline, Knight of Cups manages to be a loose set of sequences two hours long, about a very lethargic and anesthetized character, that simply doesn’t know what to do with his life, going randomly at pool parties, night clubs and expensive restaurants, because he is a bored individual full of money, with a total absence of real problems, incapable of seriously undergoing a great change in his life, or take control of his destiny. Lost in the grey dust of his purposeless existence, and unable to confront his problems, Rick goes from one place to another, from one woman to the next, without ever being able to find himself.
The decent cinematography, the good direction, a handful of beautiful scenes, and the amazing cast redeem a little the movie, but only a little. There is not much to see in Knight of Cups, sadly. A great director and a formidable cast of actors work together to totally waste your time, just to tell you the story of a bored and alienated individual, that doesn’t go anywhere with his life, doesn’t matter from what perspective you decide to confront the situations presented in the movie. If you by any chance are a little curious about Knight of Cups, you can see the trailer. You will save your time, and will have the same amount of satisfaction. For the little qualities the movie have, here and there, I can give to it one star and a half, but that would be the greatest score Knight of Cups would ever be able to achieve from me. Which is a shame, of course. A great director, with a great ensemble cast of actors and actresses, working splendidly for a solid piece of nothingness. What a waste!