A terrific work of camera that takes an ordinary story to extra-ordinary level of story telling.
This is a Terrence Malick film, that shows with the cinematography. The passion exudes in ever frame, in ever shot. In detailing of the backdrop, the period, the artifacts. Malick certainly can be called a visual poet. This is the second film I watched of his, the first one being "The Thin Red Line". Both have exemplary camera work and are exquisitely detailed in composition of each frame. You can pause at any moment in these two films and you can say, hey wow, what a painting that is.
Days of Heaven came early that is 1978. Yet, the work is contemporary and long standing. It has a story that is universal. It's about love, betrayal and murder. These things flow like poetry and all is said from the eyes of a child. The voice over adds a perspective that makes the film interesting.
Apart from technical brilliance, the film has to be known as one of the earliest Richard Gere films. He showed in this film, what he was made of. He is a tough and long running horse and he proved it with time. Also, Linda Manz as Linda did a terrific job as a child.
Most of the praise most surely go to the men who used camera very nicely. Nestor Almendros and Haskell Wexler did a stupendous job in creating paintings through camera. Thanks to them and a big thanks to Malick in knowing the perfect use of camera.
The editing and sound, considering the period this film was set in, were pitch perfect. The editing gave fluidity to the story and the sound which I suppose was remastered by Criterion was great. From the starting scenes of huge burning down, to the horses in chase, to a gun shot. They were crystal clear and gave a thorough surround stereo feel.
I loved the camerawork above all else. It shows the diligence and prudence of Malick and salutations to him. A 4/5 for this visual poetry.