In a blisteringly exhilarating new sequence that fans of the film would really be remiss not to watch, a tornado descends upon the tranquil streets of Waco, Texas, and without Brad Pitt’s protective presence in the house (his character is off traveling the world on business affairs), the children and mother are helpless against the raw power of nature. This sequence calls to mind another new scene that’s plopped earlier into the edit, in which a group of baby birds sit on the lawn, completely defenseless out of their nest from high above. And thus Malick’s thesis resonates again, clearer and louder here, as the roots of “the way of nature” and the “way of grace” grow ever-entangled, bringing full circle the haunting whispers from the film’s opening narration: “Father. Mother. Always you wrestle inside me. Always you will.”
BY DOM NERO SEP 19, 2018 for Esquire.com
In one sequence, Jack and his young brothers survey the destruction caused by a tornado. While this cut doesn’t feature any more of the awe-inspiring imagery created under the supervision of Dan Glass and his incredible special effects team, the power of nature is vividly evoked in this depiction of a disaster, the aftermath of which underscores the many ways the family lives at the mercy of a world evolving on its own almost inconceivably vast time scale.