Wow! What an amazing film, described by the director as “A love letter to death”. God, how am I going to describe it? I have no idea where to begin. I guess though at a very simple level it’s a film about the Tree of Life which can bestow immortality on anyone who finds it. But really, it’s just not. It’s about being able to understand that death isn’t something that can be defeated, but must be something that you have to accept. The story is purposely vague as to what really happens and what is fictional in the minds of the two main characters. It’s set in the time of the Spanish inquisition, current day and the far future and is so visually beautiful at times you’d be amazed to find out the special effects were filmed in a petri dish!
I can’t really say a lot more about it, except that my views are that all three time lines in the film were real and in the first story neither character would accept death, in the second story they are both reincarnated and with her illness she accepts death but he won’t (therefore he loses the ring) and in the final story he is the last man alive (by eating the tree planted on his wife’s grave, so effectively killing the reincarnation of her) and instead of bringing her back, she dies again and he eventually accepts death and gets to live forever with her!
However there is a massive amount of subtlety going on in the story that I just haven’t got to grips with yet such as the religious links, the tattoes up his arm like rings on a tree and many more! If you liked Donnie Darko, or Eternal Sunshine, or 2001… then watch it!