Bale plays lost-soul star in Malick's 'Knight of Cups'

Sun Feb 8, 2015 1:02pm EST
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By Michael Roddy

BERLIN (Reuters) - American cult director Terrence Malick puts a lot of women on screen in various stages of dress and undress for his near two-hour-long "Knight of Cups", a look at a male Hollywood star played by Christian Bale who has it all, but feels empty.

Malick makes a habit of not attending press conferences for his premieres, so it was left to the cast to answer the most obvious question: what's up with Bale's character Rick who has the good life but wanders out in the desert alone, seeking some mystical link to his lost inner child?

Bale and Natalie Portman, one of Rick's many lovers, said they weren't told much about what the film was about -- Bale said he never had any written dialogue, forcing him to respond in character to other actors who were scripted.

But Malick had briefed him on who Rick was, and Bale said he was a lost soul, despite his success.

"I think it's somebody who didn't realize he needed help, you know he's somebody whose dreams and desires have actually come to fruition, he's somebody who's succeeded at exactly what he planned on doing ... (but) he sees that it seems to be a continual repetition rather than a genuine soulful feeling of satisfaction," Bale said.

"So you get this man who starts on a journey for something -- we don't know what it is ... something he's looking forward to and backwards to as well," Bale said.

Throughout the film, women are depicted as temptresses who have led Rick astray from the goal his father has set for him, of being better than his progenitor.

But women are also seen as salvation.   Continued...

Actors Christian Bale and Natalie Portman (R) pose during a photocall to promote the movie 'Knight of Cups' in competition at the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival, in Berlin February 8, 2015.    REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke