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Film / The New World (2005)

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The New World is a 2005 historical romantic drama directed by Terrence Malick that depicts the founding of Jamestown (the first permanent English settlement in North America) including characters such as John Smith (Colin Farrell), Pocahontas (Q'orianka Kilcher), and John Rolfe (Christian Bale).

The film also stars Christopher Plummer, August Schellenberg, Wes Studi, David Thewlis, and Yorick Van Wageningen.

It was released on December 25, 2005.

Tropes for the film:

  • Betty and Veronica: This trope is applied to the story of Pocahontas, who has to choose between bold explorer John Smith (Veronica) and the comparatively more mild businessman John Rolfe (Betty).
  • Casting Gag: Irene Bedard, who voiced the titular main character in Disney's Pocahontas, is playing Pocahontas's mother.
  • Going Native: Pocahontas goes native when she marries British colonist John Rolfe and visits England. She's able to see the beauty in both worlds.
  • Historical Beauty Update: Colin Farrell as John Smith. At least they got his hair color right.
  • Historical Domain Character:
    • John Smith, who was an English explorer that comes to Virginia and befriends Pocahontas.
    • Pocahontas, a Powhatan woman who helps the settlers of Jamestown.
    • John Rolfe, businessman and Pocahontas's eventual husband.
  • Injun Country: The Powhatan Nation (primarily the Pamunkey Tribe) is portrayed, and they are much different from the standard Great Plains stereotype. Though ominous and warlike at first, they enjoy a much more favorable portrayal than the initial white settlers. The Powhatan are show to be clean, fit, and prosperous, while the English fort is filthy and filled with sick, hideous, mean people. As the film goes on, however, Pocahontas learns to appreciate English culture as well, and she is enchanted by England when she visits it.