April 25, 2008

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Excellent. DDL shines here. PTA's direction is excellent as well. More importantly however I really enjoyed the theme of anxiety and alienation so amazingly interpreted by Day-Lewis. It is not often that you hear the protagonist in a film claim that he hates most people and he does not want anyone else to succeed. But even though Day-Lewis' character has a borderline sociopathic personality that is verging on psychosis, I feel that his sentiments are not only shared with those of characters in Anderson's other films, but also with most people in real life. The fact that this behaviour throughout the film does not lead to Plainview's demise (in fact he is increasingly more well off as the film advances) despite his deteriorating mental state only makes it so much better. The little religious bit was a nice touch too. I hated Paul Dano ever since his little mute crybaby emokid performance in little miss sunshine, and I love to hate him even more in here. I was quite exhilarated to see Day-Lewis put him to shame twice, once physically bitchslapping him in the mud when he dares ask him for money, and the second time spiritually, essentially proving to him how much of a whore he is and how much his religion really is worth. In that respect Paul Dano fit the part perfectly. I like Anderson's work and I think he is one of the great under-appreciated directors of our times. His movies might seem uneven but one can argue that this is their strength. Very good.