So I watched There Will Be Blood for the second time. The 2007 film by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) is certainly epic, epically long that is. The first time I watched the movie, I’ll be honest I thought it was terrible. I remember leaving the theater fully disappointed. After the second viewing though I realized it’s actually a very well done movie.
I’ll be brief on the summary because by now you should know what it’s about. Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a lonely man searching for oil. He gets a big break and becomes a very successful oil man. He gets greedy though, very quickly. He claims to be a family man but the viewer finds out he is anything but.
Plainview has a son that he teaches all his business savvy to. After an accident leaves his son deaf though he basically abandons him. This is when Plainview’s greed takes over. He becomes untrusting of everyone around him and buries himself deep in hatred. It was nice to see a movie solely focus on one character’s rise and fall. It was saddening and depressing to see the character becomes so self-deprecating. To begin with I really liked the character, he was a good man who looked out for himself and his son. He tried to instill good business habits within his son. From the get go though the viewer can tell Plainview is cynical, sullen and prefers to be alone (which he succeeds in doing).
The two main themes were religion and greed. As soon as Plainview hits big oil his greed becomes apparent. At one point he basically baptizes his son with oil. Religion comes in full force when he starts to work with a farming family by the name of the Sunday family. One of the Sunday boys Eli (Paul Dano) is a religious fanatic that clashes with Plainview. I won’t reveal where that tension leads!
The cast was certainly stellar. Day-Lewis was of course amazing, as he always is. His portrayal of an oil-hungry man gone corrupt was seamless. Dano (Girl Next Door, Little Miss Sunshine) was also great in this movie. He also portrayed a troubled man very well.