Thursday, March 27, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Last night Su and I went to the cinema for the first time in ages,thanks to the babysitting services of my sister and Karl. There wasn't a lot on that we wanted to see, but in the end we decided on There Will Be Blood. (Perhaps not the most romantic of choices!) Well, what a strange and powerful film. It tells the story of Daniel Plainview, an oil prospector at the beginning of the 20th century and the start of the American oil business. It is a dark and bleak epic of how this man is overcome by greed, competition and misanthropy. Plainview's loss of relationship with his adopted son and his descent into alcoholism and murder is accompanied by an ongoing battle of the wills with a preacher who belongs to a very bizarre fundamentalist, pseudo-Christian sect. Fairly slow moving, there is very little dialogue in the film, but the drama is moved along by an incredible soundtrack, some stunning images and the wonderful, oscar-winning performance of Daniel Day-Lewis. There is no redemption in the film and the brutal and chilling climax is given away in the title. There is some kind of sub-text about the iraq war, oil, greed and errant religion going on there, although this is never explicit. Did I enjoy it? Well, enjoy would be a strange word to use for such a dark piece, but it did hold me for nearly 3 hours and I'd say it's worth watching just for Daniel Day-Lewis. Like 'Citizen Kane', I would say this is a 'film-buffs' film, not really a populist choice and definitely not a chick-flick. Su was not a big fan of the film, not that she only likes chick-flicks, but she definitely doesn't do dark, and she thought it was boring (it wasn't).

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