As mentioned in the previous article, 2007 was the year for films. The film chosen for today’s review has made a status so worthy of itself that others need not even ponder near it. There Will Be Blood is not a film, it is an experience. Being among the chosen few who have watched it multiple times on big screens. I must say every single time, it leaves you with a deep reflection on your conscience.
Film: There Will Be Blood (2007)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Runtime: 2h 38 min.
Cast: Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Dano
Anderson strikes up his name among the world’s geniuses by impeccably portraying Upton Sinclair’s infamous novel “Oil!” on film. Every character and scene leaves such an impression in the viewer’s mind which is not easy to forget. With the character of Daniel Plainview created such a remarkable icon that inspired character studies for years.
The story follows Daniel Plainview (Day Lewis) as he rises up the food chain with one of America’s biggest enterprises (oil). He becomes a shrewd and greedy business man who seems to stop at nothing to achieve his goals. On his way up to being the most successful oil tycoon, Daniel forsakes his values and resorts to lying and manipulating and even using his son as a tool for it. The denouement seems the most interesting with the support of a double role from Paul Dano.
Day Lewis is considered as one of the most difficult actors to work with. He chooses to stay in character throughout the production course of the film. Anderson being the master of his craft does not flinch in molding his actors perfectly. Every scene and shot is crafted to such skill that the character has become a pop culture reference. With Miramax producing the film, the budget never seemed an issue. In fact, The production of No Country for Old Men had to be stopped for a day because of the giant black cloud created by the burning of Oil on Anderson’s set. Overall, the director gives out a career defining performance with the film.
The cinematographer Robert Elswit lets his work speak for himself in the film. Elswit carves out his images to near perfection with his craft. The rustic vibe and the toned flares finally elevated his name to bag the Oscar for Best Cinematography. The role of the cinematographer is key in making the film a cult film. Lastly, legends like Deakins commended on Elswit’s craft in copious amounts.
The casting of the film seems to be hand brewed by the witches themselves. With Day Lewis and Dano as the two alphas, the film does not need to move any further. Day Lewis portrays Plainview with such mastery that just seeing him perform is enough to make your jaws drop. Be it his voice or his moments of deep reflection. Day Lewis performs it with such tenuous grasp that it finally earned him the Oscar for best actor. Lastly, Paul Dano gives out such a marvelous performance that even the performance of Day Lewis couldn’t out shadow him. 10 on 10 for the cast.
If you have not seen this film then what are you doing?
To conclude the review, I can only say that Anderson has given the world a film that makes maestros bow down to it. Elswit’s iconic frames, Anderson’s love for his characters and Lewis’ spotless acting are the holy trinity to the film. Overall, the film is a must watch for every cinephile.