Christian Bale is a writer indulging himself in alcohol and women and generally enjoying the LA lifestyle. In his search for love he undergoes a series of escapades with six different women.
Technically Knight of Cups is a marvel. The way it is shot makes you genuinely believe that you are there with Bale getting drunk and finding women wandering around in some kind of dream like trance. As such it is easy to find yourself getting sucked into the film, however if only there was a story to get sucked into. Knight of Cups is all surface and zero substance.
The performances are all very good, or as good as they can be without a proper plot or story to hinge themselves around. They do feel like real people, and when you watch it you feel like you are really there. But nothing happens ever, and you don’t really get to know anyone because as the character fails to concentrate or focus neither do you. My central conflict is whether this is intentional and really clever, or just happens because there is no plot.
The film walks a very fine line between really effectively showing the inner workings of a drunk womanizing writer and being pretentious babble that makes no sense. I think generally it manages to not come across at terribly irritating and up itself more often than not, but it often strays dangerously close to being pompous claptrap.
Overall, I admire the filmmaking behind Knight of Cups greatly and I did enjoy watching it. I just wish it had a story because then t could have been a masterpiece, as it is it’s just a bit of very clever cinematography.