IMDB Rating: 8,1/10
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writers: Paul Thomas Anderson, Upton Sinclair
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds
There Will Be Blood is not your typical drama movie which is complicated to interpret. There are many ways of how we can enjoy movies with many application in it. Some combine it with this issue and some analyze it much more deeply. I don’t really know if this movie is bad or worth to watch. For me, I can say this is good even it’s so hard to have some smallest mistake. In fact, I also don’t know which aspect is good. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread got an Oscar award in the Best Achievement in Costume Design category for Mark Bridges. This is also the second movie of Daniel Day-Lewis where I can see his acting again that many people think that this movie is his best performance compared to Lincoln or any else. I’ve admitted it since watching Lincoln and There Will Be Blood is one of the most mindblowing. More simple, there is no unique premise when it comes to the story or plot and it’s all about oil. Yes, this is about the oil which causes you to drink a milkshake.
“There Will Be Blood,” tells about the life of Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) who lived his life as a miner from zero to becoming a billionaire as known by many people until meet Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) in early 20th century California. Daniel works so hard but also takes a lot of opportunities to those who are close to him as his business friends. His business partner, as well as his son HW (Dillon Freasier), is an “acquired” child who has one father because his father along the coworker of Daniel died while working. Daniel takes care of HW where he also uses it as his partnership. Eli Sunday, on the other hand, is one in a pair of twins that family farm Daniel bought his land in order to get oil in the area. Eli, a local preacher and faith healer priest, wanted Daniel’s income to be able to finance his own church. The lives of two people who share the same goal in different possibilities collide with each other for personal gain. Daniel wants to boost his property to make a pipe to the coast and Eli trying to build his own religious place.
There Will Be Blood is like a drama movie but the horror impression is so strong. I don’t know how to explain the premise. Simply, this film is a two principle that’s compared to water and oil which never met. I myself was very afraid to watch this movie for a second time because the theme is so realistic and even I think, this film illustrates how the world today. However, it’s good to watch this movie again just to see Daniel Day-Lewis as pure acting. Mostly, the film is filled with scores and audiovisuals that are very horror but it slick where the audience will feel disturbed and uncomfortable because of the dark theme and the nuances it carries. Some people will also be difficult to understand what exactly the audience wants to be told. The scores from Jonny Greenwood, who’s also a lead guitarist of Radiohead, always frightened me out about his compositions that made me flinch. Sometimes, a scene that was accompanied by a silence gradually began to loud until I felt shivers. The first scene opened with a silence without a dialogue for a few minutes. I watched an interview with Quentin Tarantino where he analyzes this no dialogue scene. Some of his points are true when I think again from a clear picture of Daniel’s endeavor, with no dialogue of course, until he is almost dead inside when his leg is injured and trying to crawl as much as possible until there is a helping hand. The first impression that opened in this film shows how hard Daniel’s character was. This scene also proves that the atmosphere without dialogue can show details of how the images, reactions, and experienced by Daniel which it so unconscious carried over into it.
Actually, there are many ways to interpret this movie. One review I watched on the internet is a metaphor that connects with religion, especially Christianity. In this film, oil is portrayed as the blood of Jesus Christ where a gift has been given to those who strive to seek it without abstinence. If you still remember it, there was one scene when Daniel for the first time discovered the oil and the cinematography by Robert Elswit who put the camera from the well as if we saw it as Daniel’s point of view. This shot is facing upward where it shows Daniel’s worker who sees Daniel from the well. You can notice that the use of lighting in one of these scenes looks bright as if it depicts an element of metaphor that explains that Daniel got blessings from Jesus. In addition, you can notice that Daniel always put an oil on his son’s forehead and one of the scenes where Daniel got angry with Eli and put all the oil straight from the face. This metaphor seems to describe a baptism as if their soul was clean because it used the blood of Jesus’ gift. Now, I want to discuss a bit of this movie about my main points. Daniel and Eli are a metaphor for Yin and Yang who have the same goal but never joined. Daniel is someone who doesn’t really care about the people around him, doesn’t really care about Eli’s beliefs, even doesn’t care about his child. Daniel seems to be a “natural” image where he is less concerned with religion and more concerned with a superpower. Whatever is blocking it, he will destroy it and even kill the one. Daniel is one great example of the unscrupulous why one country never improves, misusing their intelligence and knowledge.
On the other hand, Eli is an image of an “immortality” that has common sense and never takes the wrong path. However, he also misused his knowledge where he used his belief as a sword which would kill people whom he considered no religious. In the scene between Daniel and Eli talking about Daniel’s partner who just died in an accident, Eli’s reaction to this seems to have no sympathy in which he thinks it’s a good thing because Eli only sees Daniel’s partner as an alcoholic. You could say, Eli is a typical person who uses his faith as wrong way that even just make him look like a freak. In addition, Eli’s reaction when Daniel’s oil mine was burned the same. Eli assumes that God never accepts Daniel as an oil miner so that’s what God does, destroys Daniel’s mine and doesn’t build the church according to Eli’s assumption. In conclusion, I found these two characters that are actually just human beings but inside of them, there is something darker where nobody wants to explore in it. At the end of the movie, maybe this is a little spoiler or not but I think some people are also very hard to understand. I think there is no a winner both of hands which I remember this ending is one of the darkest endings I’ve ever seen. Although both of them give a hand to each other, there is an aura that separates them both the ambition and faith that never embraced and unfairly used by some person.
If we talk about metaphors and analogy very much, it’s time we talk about the actors who perform in this movie. Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview is magnificent. In fact, Lincoln is the first movie I’ve seen before and I’ve seen his acting how he portrays Abe Lincoln with a personality that is so perfect for actors like Daniel Day-Lewis. I don’t know or if I just feel that his character in this movie mostly seen improvisation of some actors or actress that I always see. Some scenes are also as if he break his character and prefers to be the character, not a character that builds him up. I also saw how his character and his expression when angry but always control his vocal control. One that surprised me with his character during his baptism by Eli. Paul Dano as Eli Sunday is also very epic even more than that. He is innocent, clean character, but having a gimmick that hides its true nature shows its best performance. I was fascinated during his first sermon scene where he was like breaking the 4th wall and saying, “Go away, you devil. Get out of here.” Remember that scene? The cinematography in this scene also feels fit in this scene when Paul Dano performs his character and the camera seems to follow Paul’s words.
Overall, There Will Be Blood is a highly recommended film for people that immersed in this film. This film is about the fortunes that make a human being a monster, an over-belief that makes a human being vulnerable and lost humanity, a movie about what the world means, two small pieces but not everyone is aware of it. There Will Be Blood is indeed a film that is pure drama, looks boring, and overrated. But you’ll never know when you haven’t watch it or failed to understand it. The film has an in-depth analysis for everyone where different assumptions by the people who have successfully understood the film. Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano are well-act and have a performance in this movie. I also don’t know if I write too long for this movie.