Writer: Sophia LingWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects:
NACinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"No Country For Old Men", "Fargo""There will be greed. There will be vengeance"
The movie "There Will Be Blood" has come up in many topics of conversation. In some conversations, there will be talk of the Academy Awards and the masterful performance of Daniel Day-Lewis. In others, the subject will be stopped short by the words "huh?" Its popularity might not be widespread but movie buffs will definitely be anticipating the release of this critically acclaimed work, which earned 8 Oscar nominations. So when I was asked to check out the movie, shivers went down my spine. Finally, the answer to the ultimate question; is it as good as everyone says it is?
A movie like this doesn't come by very often. To sum it up plainly, it is a story about family, greed, religion and oil set in the old west. Sounds simple enough but in truth, it is a multi-layered story that is complex and powerful but emotionally draining. Viewers will probably walk out of the cinema feeling mentally exhausted and slightly hung over.
Daniel Day-Lewis takes on the role of Daniel Plainview, a silver miner turned oilman. He is the pillar that holds the movie together and his outstanding portrayal is worthy of all the praise received. It is reminiscent of his performance in "Gangs Of New York" and a slight hint of Hugo Weaving in "V for Vendetta". Paul Dano plays Eli Sunday, a man whose passion for religion takes him over. From the silent and slightly eccentric teenager in "Little Miss Sunshine", he turns into an over-zealous evangelical preacher. Together, they deliver possibly the most powerful performances of their career.
If he hasn't proved himself with "Magnolia", Paul Thomas Anderson has definitely cemented his reputation as an acclaimed writer and director with this one. Almost everything is top notch; the cinematography, the script and the cast. All are presented with confidence and passion. The one thing that the film lacks is a good score. The dissonant sounds from the strings are almost as horrifying as the sound of fingernails on a blackboard.
"There Will Be Blood" is not for the faint-hearted. It is boiling with intensity, highly capricious and emotionally taxing. Ultimately, it dares viewers to take a closer look at its main characters and their descent into insanity. Follow them on a journey where greed and the desire for power take over. If you do, you'd probably walk out of the cinema unable to stop thinking about them for a while.
One might be left to wonder why I'm only giving this movie a 3-star rating. There are people who sing nothing but praises about this film and I must admit, those people are probably movie snobs; critics who take pride in all the little details. Then there's everyone else who will probably find the film slow and complex, leaving them with a sigh of relief when all is done. It is an acquired taste so try it for yourself and see where you fit in, even if it is only because of the hype.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008