There Will Be Blood

Great central performances, stunning visuals and a fascinating story combine to make for a very enjoyable film with a truly epic feel.

The first twenty minutes has no dialogue (so you need to pay attention or you'll miss something important for later on), we spend most of the movie watching Daniel Day-Lewis on his own, there are long stretches where nothing much appears to happen and - after nearly three hours in the cinema - the ending is abrupt and ambiguous. Yet, this is a completely satisfying experience from start to finish and I'd be more than happy to go back and watch it again. My only complaint is that the unsuitable score kept intruding upon my enjoyment. In the grand scheme of things, however, that's a minor complaint.

Daniel Plainview, a hardworking solitary man, strikes oil in 1898. We follow his story in the years that follow, as he gets richer and richer. We meet his son, his brother, his rival and his enemy along the way. How he treats each one tells us a lot about Daniel Plainview. His "enemy" - by the way - is a minister in a small town that Plainview wants to own. They clash repeatedly over the years, some battles are humourous and some are vicious, and viewers might be tempted to read the film as a study in Power vs. Revigion. But, truthfully, it's not a story that's that easy to categorize.

While there is still a lot left unclear, when the the movie draws to a close in 1927, the viewer is left with vivid picture of who this man was and what sort of world he lived in. That's a stunning accomplishment. "A+"

1 comment:

Patrick Roberts said...

finally got to see the infamous There Will Be Blood... Daniel-Day Lewis' performance was top-notch. He takes well to the overbearing, violent father-figure role -- he also did this in Gangs of New York.