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There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)

Posted on the 06 March 2013 by Teddycasimir
There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)
   I finally did it! I watched my very first Daniel Day-Lewis film and I was not disappointed. I get it now. I understand all of the praise he receives now. I understand why he stands as the only actor with three Best Actor Oscars under his belt. In There Will Be Blood, Day-Lewis delivers one of the most powerful acting performances of all time. My main goal in watching the film was to at last see Daniel Day-Lewis act and I completely forgot said purpose once the film began rolling. Once in a while, my subconscious would kick in and shout that this was Day-Lewis onscreen, but its voice was drowned out by Day-Lewis' performance.
There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)    In the film, Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, an oil driller who opens up his own oil drilling company after a lucky discovery in the mountains -- or hills. Onsite, one of his workers dies in a freak accident. Plainview then adopts the man's son and raises him as his own. During business prospects, Plainview cleverly presents the now 10-year old as his business partner. One day, Daniel Plainview is visited by a Paul Sunday (Paul Dano) who tells him that he knows of a place where Plainview could find oil. Plainview and his business associate (not his son) try to outwit the young man, but Paul is far too cunning and demands money before he reveals the location of the oil mines. After receiving the money, Paul Sunday reveals that the oil is located on his family's property. Plainview and his business partner (his son this time) travel to the property and ask the Sunday family to lodge there with their tents, under the pretense of hunting quail. An exploration of the field does reveal that there may be oil and Plainview offers to buy the plot from the Sunday family. However, Eli Sunday (Paul Dano again), Paul's twin brother, can see that Plainview is looking for oil and demands more money...for his church. What follows is a story that is nothing short of extraordinary. A man's greed and lust for success begin to eclipse his relationships with those around him and those who are closest to him and those who may even wish to know the true man within. He becomes more and more disconnected from the world around him, his entire being dedicated to finding oil and making a profit. A rivalry also erupts between him and the religious zealot Eli Sunday, culminating in one of the biggest showdowns in the history of anything ever.
There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)     I cannot give enough praise to Day-Lewis' performance, but the film in its entirety also warrants just as much praise. The cinematography is simply gorgeous. The men covered in oil and mud, the explosions, the oil seeping through the ground, the light shafting down to the oil wells; all the visuals perfectly showcase the hard work and uncertainty involved in drilling oil, which makes Plainview's motivation that much more fascinating to the public. The other main performers also do a great job. Paul Dano, who usually annoys me, is ten times more annoying in this film. Yet, it works. You are supposed to loathe his character. In some strange way, it makes it easier for you to relate or root for Daniel Plainview, even though he's just as rotten as Eli Sunday. I think Paul Dano should have received more attention from this film because his performance is amazing. For that, I must give props to Paul Thomas Anderson's flawless direction. Anderson also gets a great performance out of Plainview's adopted son, H.W., played by Dillon Freasier. Russell Harvard plays the adult H.W. in what is to me the most heartbreaking scene in the film. The script is also a driving force in the film. With mediocre talents, the dialog could have easily come across as over-the-top. The actors give their all to the script and become the characters. Their motivation is not to deliver great performances or to get award notice; but to drill oil and make a lot of dough; to understand their father and rise from his shadow; to become a respected leader and hide their true motives.
   Admittedly, at first, I did not like or maybe just did not get the ending of the film. Yet, after a night's sleep and some time to ponder the film over, I have to say that it was the best way to end the film. It's a way to show how a man has reached his final point of deterioration. Everything in the film was leading up to that moment and it is really one of the film's best and most iconic scenes. There Will Be Blood has confirmed for me that both Day-Lewis and Anderson are deserving of the praise showered upon them. I cannot wait to obtain some of their other titles. Oh, one final point. People often compare There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men. I can see the similarities in their themes and while I do love No Country more, the fact remains that these two films are two of the best that I have ever seen. They're probably pretty close now in my ranking. They are both films that I can see myself falling in love with more and more after rewatches. There is more to be discovered in both films, more treasures to be unlocked, more oil to be brought to the surface.
Ludovico Rating There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)

Oh and this scene:

There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)

Day-Lewis is having none of your shit Dano

reminded me of this:

There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)

Batman is having none of your shit Robin

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