Even though the buzz has been extremely high for the latest P.T. Anderson (Magnolia, Punch-drunk Love, Boogie Nights) flick There Will Be Blood the love the critics have shared won’t be wide-felt.
There Will Be Blood, based on Upton Sinclair’s Oil! covers nearly 30 years of the life of oil tycoon Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day Lewis). It begins showing him in the late 1800s finding precious metals in self-mined caves, then cuts to several years later in his life when he’s established enough to have an oil mining crew of his own, and then jumps forward yet again to show a young man coming to him asking for thousands in cash in return for the location of an undiscovered oilfield so rich in the black gold that it seeps upward from the ground.
Once Plainview and his son make their way to the hotspot, a small town called Little Boston, they begin buying up all the land from the currently unsuccessful farmers. It is while acquiring land that Daniel meets his match, the young local church pastor Paul Sunday (Little Miss Sunshine’s Paul Dano), and the battle over pride and ego ensues.
There Will Be Blood is a beautiful story of self-destruction. The story is crafted in such a way that, although the film is particularly slow and long, you’re never shown anything that isn’t absolutely beautiful or progressive to the plot. And if that’s all it takes to make a movie that everyone falls in love with, There Will Be Blood will be widely loved – but it’s not.
There are elements and themes that are carried out in the film in the exact same gritty manner in which they occur in real life.
Watching pride nearly destroy people is a nasty thing, and when you see it in its fullest form at the end of the movie, it’s almost unbearable to watch.
There Will Be Blood is a masterpiece, but may not be seen so by everyone. It’s almost guaranteed to keep people loving it right up to the end, and then it’s going to lose a lot of its fans.
Nonetheless, check it out. The story is great; it’s visually beautiful and you’ll not see finer acting this year than Daniel Day Lewis’ performance. Those leery to see it because of its creepy, graphic title, don’t be afraid; an alternative title could’ve been There Will Not Be Much Blood.