THERE WILL BE BLOOD- A REVIEW
So after a lot of time, I finally had the honor of watching the masterpiece that is called There Will Be Blood.
I don’t know about you but ever since watching this Paul Thomas Anderson piece of art, I have never had a milkshake without bursting into a bad, loud Daniel Plainview impression,
The film is a great watch from the beginning to the end.
Wait, not the beginning. Not the very beginning.
It opens with the shot of our main character, Daniel Plainview, in a mine. In a Pyrrhic Victory he gets the (Stone? Oil piece? Ore? It doesn’t matter. It’s basically a McGuffin), and comes out crawling. For the average cinema-going audience, this part ain’t exactly satisfying. You’re hurdling through dark shots of the mine then suddenly struck by the cold light of day of the Nevada desert. You see a character mining for something. Damn, you have nothing to sympathize for.
Not to mention you have about four and a half minutes before anything happens.
This is like one of those films, if you didn’t know how good it was, and just caught the first few minutes while scrolling by, it probably wouldn’t interest you.
But then again. This film is a masterpiece, one that deserves to be watched from the beginning to the end, it doesn’t care if you didn’t find the first moments gripping, and serves to delight the absolute purist in cinemas. Not that an average layman wouldn’t find it interesting, though.
A few years later we see him working as part of an Oilgarchy. The ‘derrick’ finds oil, and the entire place rejoices. They collect it in a pool, and our MainCharacter even goes ahead to put it on his child’s forehead. There ahead you can see how our character is so amazed by the black blood that is oil.
We see him over the years, find out his child’s (H.W. Plainview) mother died in childbirth, how taken he is by the investments in oil.
Now I won’t bore you too much.
It all begins with Paul Sunday, the son of a goat ranch owner down in California. He acquires the land and what happens with Eli, Paul’s brother, his drilling there, explosion which causes deaths of few and his child to go deaf, which in turn makes him into a monster. He almost kills Eli out of frustration, abandons his child, and gets sucked in deeper into money-making, and how we struggles to get out of it.
Now telling you anything more would be spoiling it totally for you :P
Daniel-Day Lewis does an absolute fantastic job of portraying Daniel Plainview’s descent into madness for his greed of the black foul substance of oil. In my opinion nobody could have portrayed the character better. Damn, it just makes me feel why he is one of the few amazing actors all-around.
I however was not thoroughly satisfied by Paul Dano’s performance. You know how some movies have been bad, but it wasn’t their fault? The character was just scripted badly?
This is the exact opposite.
I mean, c’mon. The only moment I felt the actor did okay was during the strangling of his father Abel Sunday. If you look at him, you’ll notice his character’s eye wandering between shots. Even through his fantastic energy-filled church sermons, I feel a person could have done better-
No seriously. Look at his performances in 28 Days Later and Red lights. The kid could have TOTALLY pulled the character off.
All others did well too. Hans Howes for Bandy, Kevin J’O Connor for Henry Plainview( I can’t spoil it yet, can I ? ), and Dillion Fraiser for H.W. Plainview especially. The boy really pulled off one of the best child actor performances seen through the years.
General Appeal- 7.5 out of 10. Even if you didn’t hang on after the dismal few first minutes, this movie is a thoroughly entertaining watch. A few people might be disappointed about the lack of blood until at least half an hour or a full one hour.
Style/Cinematography- 9 out of 10. The place it missed out on is it’s color use. The shots move really quickly from light to dark, and that isn’t pleasing the eyes. And cinematography’s all about pleasing the eyes. Full credit to the guy though, for managing all those shot-blocking sequences, to introduce characters, one at a time.
Plot- A total 10 out of 10. Paul Thomas Anderson struck oil when he got this idea. I have never felt a more compelling story, and what makes it better is that you can’t help hating Daniel Plainview but sympathizing for him at the same time.
I don’t think if I say anything anymore I will be able to give it justice, so yeah :)
Also, doesn’t it feel too much like the Coen Brothers’ film No Country For Old Men? Fun Fact: Due to the derrick explosion scene, the nearby camp for No Country For Old Men had to abandon shooting for one day. That film however went on to beat There Will Be Blood at the Oscars.
In total I give it a 9 out of 10 (Scores are not a average, it is what I give it independently.)
Until next time, and thanks for reading all this