The 5th Annual James Horner Blogathon – The New World (2005)


This is the first of 3 reviews that are part of The 5th Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon hosted by Becca over at Film Music Central.  Tnx for letting me participate!

“[voiceover referring to John Rolfe] He is like a tree. He shelters me. I lie in his shade.” – Pocahontas

Number of Times Seen – 1 (18 Aug 2020)

Brief Synopsis – As the English first land in the New World (America) during the early 17th Century, a love affair grows between the Governor of the Colony and the daughter of the local Indian Chief.

My Take on it – I have never been a big fan of Terrance Malick’s films and usually find his films to be overly long and far too abstract.

This film is no difference and his version of the story of Pocahontas is quite boring because it fails to really engage the audience enough along the way.

The cast is great with Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer, Christian Bale and newcomer Q’orianka Kilcher, yet none of them are given well developed characters and things come across seeming far too superficial as things play out.

The love story aspects are laughable and it’s difficult to believe them on any level.

Even Disney’s fictionalized story about Pocahontas and John Smith that came out a decade earlier made things much more believable and plausible to watch.

The story and plot make little sense and things jump around too much for their own good.

We are expected to believe some of the abstract plot points that muddle along and just don’t manage to work at all.

James Horne does a wonderful job with his score here even if he had a lot of trouble with this film since the movie was constantly cut and recut by Malick who ended up leaving most of his Horner’s music out of the film.

Even his closing song called Listen to the Wind was left off the final cut of the film despite it being quite enjoyable.

Listen to it here:

Bottom Line – Really long and boring story that makes so little sense despite its very talented cast. The story seems to take on too much of an abstract viewpoint which muddles the way things move along. The story of Pocahontas and John Smith is shown to be quite over reaching and even the fictionalized version by Disney a decade earlier was much better and seemed more plausible than the one presented here. The film’s score by James Horner is quite intriguing even if it doesn’t manage to be among his greatest achievements largely due to the way that the story was constantly recut by Director Malick, forcing Horner’s music to be trimmed and cut too much. His closing song for the film which also got cut is actually quite good and it’s too bad that it didn’t make the final print.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Because of Terrence Malick’s habit of cutting and editing his films repeatedly, much of the music that James Horner wrote for the film never made it to the final cut, except for a few fragments. In an interview, Horner said that Malick loved his score, but had no clue about what to do with it. He concluded that working with Malick was “the most disappointing experience I’ve ever had with a man” and that “I never felt so letdown by a filmmaker in my life”. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)

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One thought on “The 5th Annual James Horner Blogathon – The New World (2005)

  1. Pingback: The 5th Annual Remembering James Horner Blogathon Recap! | Film Music Central

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