Finally got around to watching this brooding masterpiece of a film last night. For some reason I’ve always gotten There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men mixed up in my head, purely because they were on at the cinema at the same time. There is absolutely no relationship between the two movies, one being about a slightly psychopathic oil man in the earliest days of prospecting, and the other being about a man on the run from a psychopathic killer. Oh wait. Guess there are some similarities after all.. both are great movies but as dark as anything, ‘No Country’ is a Coen Brothers movie in the style of Fargo without the humour so don’t expect light watching with either.
There Will Be Blood is a real powerhouse of a movie. Daniel Day-Lewis takes the lead as an oil prospector, Daniel Plainview, who works his way up from the bottom through his own hard work and cunning, yet still acknowledging that only one in twenty prospectors ever strike big. Along the way he loses a lot of compatriots, and makes few friends, being unrelenting in his pursuit of oil success. After achieving some early finds, he is approached by a young man who tells him of oil on his farmstead in return for money. Plainview visits the farm and finds the boy’s twin brother, Eli Sunday, a fanatical Christian played with creepy genius by Paul Dano. Buying up the farm and the surrounding area, Plainview grows his empire – facing loss and gains along the way, within a circle of his own self-created loneliness.
There is no redemption in this movie for the principle players, just dark drilling into the human soul and psyche. The beauty here lies in the cinematic vistas of early oil fields, and the starkly wonderful soundtrack by Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead fame. There Will Be Blood is a must see movie, but have a cheery follow up film as a follow up – for us it was The Triplets of Belleville, a quirky French animated movie about one Grandmother’s quest to cheer up her Grandson with surreal consequences. Very enjoyable.