Tuesday, May 27, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Just a couple thoughts. I watched this last night, the first of many times I plan on watching it. I'm waiting for the blu-ray to just buy it outright.

also, there are SPOILERS.

Firstly, I loved the movie. It was beautiful on many levels, but also equally sad and depressing. Not the film itself, just the journey of its main character, Daniel Plainview. He's a sad guy, and I was never positive what his motivation was. It wasn't really money, because he had tons and was offered more. He obviously stated during his campfire boozefest with his faux-brother that he hated people, and his only motivation was to make enough money to get away from everyone. That said, then why, at the end, is he still surrounded by people? Are we to assume that he achieved his goal and his definition of "alone" happens to include being surrounded my a handful of close associates and butlers. Or are we to assume then that he has yet to reach his eden of lonesome wallow? I suppose it could be taken either way and the ambiguousness of it is sort of why its great.

Secondly, I love how at first you're lead to believe the Daniel takes back his son because he might have actually been saved when being baptised at the church of the third revelation. That we might have actually witnessed a miracle, this barren soulless man finding redemption and expressing remorse over his abadonment of his adopted son. Then in the final minutes of movie, as the now grown-up H.W. informs his father that he is leaving with his wife to start his own business, Daniels true intentions come to light. He didn't save young H.W. from being an orphan out of mere compassion or sympathy. He saw a way to sell himself as a family man when seeking out new investments, a "pretty face" for people to look at while he shilled them with his tales of being a family man and took their land and oil. It was then that I realized that Daniel was never saved, he simply saw that by sending H.W. away, it made him appear weak and vile, and that by bringing him back, it would make him appear to be saved and aid him continuing the expansion of his business. What a dick.

Thirdly, much has been said about the score. I can't say much more than: indeed, it kicked ass.

Lastly, I've never been a fan of Daniel Day Lewis. Maybe its the contrarian in me. I don't believe that someone is just automatically a genius. I'm more of a fan of the theory of acting relativity, in that you're only as good as those around you. I didn't like him much in Gangs of New York because I think that both Liam Neeson and Leonardo DiCaprio are much better actors than he is, and you sort of have to prove yourself when going toe to toe like that. In the case of There Will Be Blood though, Daniel Day Lewis was amazing. Not only that, but Paul Dano was brilliant, the unsung hero of the film if you will. Every performance was outstanding and Daniel Day Lewis made it even better by taking pain and aggression to a new level. I never doubted his character for a second, there was never any time when it thought "i'm watching Daniel Day Lewis with a mustache". He's a fantastic actor and as far as I'm concerned, this is probably the best work he's ever done.