The Waiting Was the Hardest Part

So you have been warned. What Malick has fashioned here is less a conventional narrative than an impressionistic mosaic of our common yet varied experience of life and death, as focused and clarified through the relentless lens of war. Yes, The Thin Red Line has thrilling battle scenes; just don't expect the usual pace of an action film. Yes, it has significant thematic content at its core; just don't expect the usual clean resolution of these ideas. And, yes, it allows us to identify with the characters' inner lives; just don't expect any reassuring neatness or catharsis as each (with us in tow) meets his apparently random fate.

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