Sunday, 24 February 2008

There Will Be Blood Review

I know its awards season but really I'm being spoilt at the moment. From the opening shots of a pickaxe hitting the wall, accompanied by the ear piercing strings of Johnny Greenwoods score, There Will Be Blood holds you to the screen and doesn't let go. The sense of foreboding lasts for near on three hours yet clock watching is not only unneeded its almost impossible.

At the turn of the 20th century we follow the life of Daniel Plainview. He is a self proclaimed Oil Man and Family Man, and while he succeeds on all fronts on the former, the latter is his downfall. Tipped off on a small religious town by Paul Sunday (Paul Dano) to tap into unprecedented new Oil fields, Plainwiew takes his adoptive son, H.W, and attempts to bleed the town dry. There he becomes locked in a battle with Paul's brother Eli (also Dano) a fervant religious man who is out to prove himself the true saviour of the town.

The one mans life ruled by power and greed evokes memories of Citizen Kane. There was a time when even to mention that movie in the same paragraph would need to be followed with 'its not nearly as good as' but this manages to actually stand up to the Grandpa of Movies. Watching Plainview push away everyone around him because as he states "There are times when I look at people and I see nothing worth liking" is chilling but heartfelt too.

The only unsurprising thing in this film is that Daniel Day Lewis is again superb. While the old adage, given by Laurence Olivier to Dustin Hoffman, of "Dear boy, why don't you try acting?" is written all over the intensity of his performance it really doesn't matter how much he has to immerse himself in a role. If the result is as good as this, and it usually is, then method acting should be compulsory.

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