30 September 2013 | hpoeng-805-524438
There Will Be Blood - Amateur Review
*NOTE: first time doing a movie review.*
Greed can lead to many things. Some good, some bad. It can often lead to a man's downfall. Set in the late 19th-century / early 20th- century, "There Will Be Blood" follows the story of Daniel Plainview. The story starts with the camera focused on a single man in a mine who is none other than Daniel. The movie opens up in silence. There is no dialogue, no speech. For 20 minutes I sat and observed a man in a hole mining for who knows what. In these first 20 minutes we are exposed to a number of things that set the tone for movie. We see a dry barren land, age old technology. You see a sweaty man working at a wall with his pickaxe in some dark and dusty hole. It's intense and dark. During these 20 minutes, Daniel strikes oil changing his life. Lives will be changed, decisions will be made, and there will be blood.
This movie appears to be filmed on location in Texas and in California, which is a great way to convey Paul Thomas Anderson's message. Half the things in the movie couldn't be done on set. Unless it was done by some type of magic, then kudos to the team. I personally think that filming on location adds another dimension of realism to the movie, especially since it is a western type movie. Back to what the message is. Well, if I were to take a swing at what the message is, I'm going to say it's about the struggle for power and control. You can take this away from Daniel and his enemy, Eli Sunday (who starts a church in Little Boston called "The Third Revelation"). Both of them want it all, to be on top in their respective careers. However, the struggle and desire for power pits both Daniel and Eli together for control of Little Boston. It also provides a historical example for that time period. The message is conveyed fairly well in this movie. But that's not the only thing this movie has going on. I personally think the biggest aspect of this movie has to be the music. It's random, and gets you thinking. Mind you, there isn't any run in the park Benny Hill music. The music is dark, ominous and overall creepy. It sets up the scene and makes it interesting. A good example of this can be located within the first 20 minutes of the film. Creepy music starts to play when Daniel begins his descent back into the mine where the dynamite blew up. According to the creepy music, something bad was bound to happen and it did. The ladder Dan was using to climb down on broke, tossing him like a rag doll. Surprisingly enough, this is where he discovers oil. This makes me think that the music starts only when a significant moment is about to happen, which is it's own type of foreshadowing, for better for for worse.
As we progress through the story, you start to see the central theme of greed bloom at a rather rapid rate. Greed takes a grip on our main character Daniel and starts to drive the story in a different direction. He begins get a crazy but in a subtle way. Then, he just becomes a different man. It was amazing to the see the actor, Daniel Day-Lewis, take on this role and own it. He put so much energy and power into this roll and really convinced me that he was going crazy. I fully support Paul Thomas Anderson's cast choice. Each person totally owned his / her role, and made the movie as un-cheesy as possible. The shots were clear, and it wasn't gimmicky. We knew where all the important people were at all times during each scene.
I would totally watch this movie again if I had the chance. It was plot driven, it never sidetracked, and each scene was significant to the development of the main character. Out of 10 i would give it a 9 simply because there is no such thing as perfect, only what we perceive to be perfect. It was intense, unpredictable, and overall enjoyable. I don't usually watch these kinds of movies, but this one just might get me hooked to the genre.