There Will Be Blood (Review)

Exeposé 533

There Will Be Blood is one of the greatest films ever made.

There, I’ve said it. By my own admission, it’s poor journalism to simply make such a fleeting statement in what should be a detailed, analytical review, but the fact remains that the latest from P.T. Anderson is a amazing piece of filmmaking and a modern classic.

Detailing the rise of self-made “oil man” Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), There Will Be Blood sees him come to blows with Paul Dano’s megalomaniacal young preacher over control over a village sitting on an ocean of oil.

To say Day-Lewis deserves another Oscar for his performance here is an understatement. Plainview is a fascinating figure, oozing ambition, jealousy and charisma. Packing a distinctive drawl and awe-inspiring facial hair, Day-Lewis truly makes this manic, unrepentant figure his own. But Plainview is never demonised; rather than being painted as a mere grizzled anti-hero, what we have here is a flawed character that lusts for vengeance yet secretly pines for home. Day-Lewis doesn’t deserve an Oscar; he deserves a sainthood.

But just concentrating on Plainview almost makes this sound like Day-Lewis’ one-man show, which is unfair. He finds a worthy adversary in Paul Dano, whose frantic performance as an equally-ambitious priest is utterly brilliant. Anderson’s distinctly Kubrickian direction, meanwhile, is mesmerising, matched by equally breathtaking cinematography. Special praise must also go to Jonny Greenwood’s marvellous score; hauntingly thunderous and terrifyingly discordant, it succeeds in maintaining the unflinching aura of dread which surrounds the events of the film.

In summary, this is an epic- and I don’t use this word lightly- masterpiece which is as ambitious as its protagonist. Difficult, terrifying, yet thoroughly entertaining throughout, this is an instant classic and a career best for Day-Lewis. And for the bloke who played Bill the Butcher, that means a lot.

5/5

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This entry was posted in Exeposé 2007-2008, Films, Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

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