Virginia, 1607. As the English establish a settlement in Jamestown, disgraced soldier of fortune John Smith (Farrell) leads an expedition to establish trade with the Native Americans. Smith is captured by a tribe but released by the chief (August Schellenberg) to his favourite daughter Pocahontas (Kircher) in order to gain insight into the outsider’s intentions.
Definitely an acquired taste — the pace is ponderous, the storytelling approach oblique and the studied quality of the imagery potentially distancing — but The New World is a handcrafted original in a morass of Cheaper By The Dozen 2s. Malick’s magic remains undiminished.
Reviewed by Ian Freer
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