There Will Be Blood
Extremely ambitious film that mostly succeeds
Most will agree that Daniel Day-Lewis is in the uppermost echelon of working actors today, if not the best. Unfortunately, he only appears every few years to appear in a film, so when he does it becomes a big deal. Couple his return to screens with the first Paul Thomas Anderson film since 2002’s underwhelming PUNCH DRUNK LOVE and THERE WILL BE BLOOD becomes a must-see sight unseen.
Day-Lewis is completely mesmerizing, keeping the viewer enthralled by his sheer determinism and terrifying demeanor. In certain scenes, he emits such a ferocity without words that is truly frightening. As such, the film carries a great deal of suspense, automatically sending viewers into winces and shivers when Day-Lewis turns his eye to madness. His brilliance is perhaps emphasized by Dano, who turns in one of the most unintentionally funny performances of the year. As Eli, he squeals and twists his face in a manner meant to imbue him with a similar kind of maddened determinism as Plainview, but he is merely irritating. He has no power in his voice or menace in his face; he is only a reason to focus one’s attention solely on Lewis.
Anderson shows tremendous growth as a director. Completely rejecting the intellectual quirkiness that defined BOOGIE NIGHTS and MAGNOLIA and hampered PUNCH DRUNK LOVE. He immerses his style completely in the era, working with cinematographer Robert Elswit to create a cold, sparse world, a place that perfectly reflects Plainview’s outlook on life. Johnny Greenwood’s unusual and electrifying score keeps the film from becoming just another period piece, emphasizing the alienating and unnerving aspects of the film; a great source of the film’s tension comes from Greenwood’s screeching violins. THERE WILL BE BLOOD is a film that must be seen to be believed.
Full review at http://newmanscorner.blogspot.com