Movie: "There Will Be Blood"
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writing credits: Paul Thomas Anderson, Upton Sinclair
Plot: Oil prospector Daniel Plainview learns that oil-rich land in California can be bought cheaply and moves his operation there, where he finds himself at odds with a local preacher. The richer he gets, the greedier he gets, and he ends up alienating everyone in his life.
Review: This would probably more aptly be called a "performance" than a "movie", because during nearly every second of film, Daniel Day-Lewis totally dominates the show. Everyone's been talking about this performance for a while, and after having seen it myself, I finally understand why. Holy shit, he is so intense in this movie you'd better strap yourself into your chair or risk being blasted right out of the theater. He totally possesses this character in ways that most actors can only dream of, right down to the tiniest little mannerisms. He truly is one of the most talented actors of our time, and there's a strong argument for this being his best performance.
Watching the depressing downward spiral of Daniel Plainview's life is not a pleasant viewing experience, and yet it is a fascinatingly enjoyable one. Parts of the movie are genuinely funny but for the most part it's a downer witnessing just how much of a bastard Plainview can be. There were moments that my friend and I who went to see the film were the only ones in the theater laughing, but when so much of the movie makes you uncomfortable, what else can you do?
Taking place in three distinct time periods in the early 20th century, we are shown different phases of Plainview's life: his early success as a struggling silver miner, his building of an empire and careful cultivation of a family man image, and his lonely later years spent largely in isolation.
One thing that really stood out for me in this film was the score by Jonny Greenwood, which really emphasized the feeling of discomfort I was experiencing by being exposed to such a ruthless, greedy and evil character. A lot of people have complained about the music, apparently, but I thought it was a perfect fit.
And then of course there's the infamous line that comes at the end. I don't want to spoil it, though odds are you've heard people shouting it at one another by now anyway. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you'll know it when you see the scene, trust me. It's hilariously awesome in or out of context.
If you were thinking about seeing this movie but were avoiding it because of the "Oscar buzz" or whatever bullshit, take my word for it, this is one mind-blowingly impressive performance you should definitely check out.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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