There Will Be Blood is visionary director Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil!. Set in the early 1900's, it tells the story of a man's ruthless quest for power and wealth during Southern California's oil boom. It was nominated for eight, and won two Academy Awards.
There Will Be Blood is, simply put, a powerhouse lasting two and a half hours. By the time it ends, one cannot help but be awed at what has gone on on-screen. Daniel Day Lewis, known for churning out the greatest performances by any present day actor, is at his vicious best. After roles like that of Christy Brown in My Left Foot, and Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting in Gangs of New York, he is back, and with more to offer. It is a treat simply watching him on screen. He is credited for being the most selective actor around, and for good reason.
Expect P.T.Anderson's best work till date as well. Topping masterpieces such as Magnolia and Boogie Nights is not an easy job. So we would think. There Will Be Blood is a whole new arena to what Anderson can do as a screenplay writer. Certain sequences in this gem of a film stand out as particularly magnificent. The background score played during the derrick fire sequence is beyond description. It is a few minutes of perfection. Haunting. Expect to go wide-eyed. The cinematography top notch. The rythm and motion, in perfect harmony.
There Will Be Blood is a story about ambition. Greed. Hatred. About a man who is so self absorbed that he cannot imagine anything apart from what he wants. And he does everything he possibly can to get it. The shock of what the film shows is stays for a while after one has seen it. Not merely because of the actions it shows us, more because of the ways and the circumstances in which the actions have been performed. From greed. From whim. From madness. Daniel Day Lewis' Daniel Plainview is such a man. And his performance puts forward to us as much of him as it possibly can. It is simply shocking.
The character of Eli, portrayed by Paul Dano, deserves special mention. Especially for the way it all comes out in the last 20minutes of the film. Another brilliant sequence there. Paul Dano does marvellously to keep up with Lewis in this particular sequence in the film. It is hard to believe that anyone of his age can stand up to Lewis in so powerful a sequence. The last 20minutes of the film will leave you speechless. It is a lesson in acting and cinematography, in editing and sound mixing. It is a film in itself. There Will Be Blood is a masterpiece that deserves a lot more respect and credit than it has recieved.
And I quote Daniel Plainview from the scrumptious final sequence : Did you think your song and dance and your superstition would help you, Eli? I am the Third Revelation! I am who the Lord has chosen!
There Will Be Greed. There Will Be Vengeance. There Will Be Blood.