By far the most beautiful film I've seen lately. Malick is a supreme master that show us an enthralling visually beautiful mixture of 2 types of stories that complement each other. One is the birth of life and the other life itself as a human being, from birth to death passing through all the obstacles. As it is said in the film "There are two ways through life: the way of nature, and the way of Grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow." This is a nice statement that defines the family in cause, the father more rude and authoritarian tries to make his three children Men in the chaos of life, while the mother is more gracious and wants to teach the beauty of life through love. An so she says "The only way to be happy is to love. Unless you love, your life will flash by."
Life is hard, and from the beginning of the film we know one of their sons is dead at the age of 19, a tragedy for both parents and brothers. But more so, a question of existence and acceptance arises for all the family to accomplish grief and to forgive the way of life or the way of God. The elder brother after many years passed still holds on grief reflecting on the past and the way his father treat them, the anger he felt when he was little, how he wanted to be more as his mother, as was the brother who died. He knows in his heart that it was preferable if it was him to die, people will miss him less, and he blames himself for it.
So, the film is about the journey, the lost moments, the prospects, the battle between grace and life, the battle between forgiveness and resentment, between anger and peace. It has so much we have or will dealt in past/future... because life is a tree, branching, even when it's cut, searching for new life, for new space to be alive and nurtured by grace.
Malick made a terrific job, the actors are mere images of a whole picture bigger than life.