The Tree of Life will stun and baffle

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For those seeking a memorable night in the cinema, The Tree of Life is screening today at  Dubai Mall (5.30pm, 8.30pm, 11.30pm) and Dubai Marina Mall (5.50pm, 8.40pm, 11.30pm).
Since its premiere at this year's Cannes - where it won the prestigious Palme d'Or - Terrence Malick's film (montage? slideshow?) has been received with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from audiences the world over.
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw even called it "mad and magnificent".
I don't know about the latter, but the film is certainly mad.

The Tree of Life's official press release describes it as one that "chronicles the origins and meaning of life by way of a middle-aged man's childhood memories of his family living in 1950s Texas, interspersed with imagery of the origins of the universe and the inception of life on Earth."

Confused already? Well, wait until you see it.

Starring Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life is stunning but also baffling, pretentious, and frustratingly fragmented. I'm a fan of film plots that take their time to unveil and climax, but this is pure comatose cinema.

Robert De Niro, the head of the Cannes jury that awarded The Tree of Life the festival's top honours, explained that the film "had the size, the importance, the intention, whatever you want to call it".

Seems like Mr De Niro got confused, too.

After watching the film, a friend and I spent the next five hours - huddled in a corner of a bar - arguing about the film's merits. As we walked home, both silenced and exhausted from the yapping marathon, he blurted out, "Spending hours talking about it - isn't that the sign of a good film?"

Watch The Tree of Life and tell us what you think.