There Will Be Blood (2007)

Rated 12
Spoiler Free

I stupidly went into There Will Be Blood back in 2007 expecting, nae wanting, blood. I always want blood in a film though, I love blood in a film and in my defence, the film's title and whatnot. Blood is a lot less fun during your haircut. My primary and only watch of Paul Thomas Anderson’s, Daniel Day-Lewis epic all those years ago was not what I wanted, and my memory was of thinking it was a technically brilliant film that didn't have any connection with me whatsoever. I could understand why people love it, I just didn’t.

Expectations duly managed, and with time and growth as a person on my part (I’m a lot smarter than I was in 2007, years of drinking does that for you), I was keen to return to There Will Be Blood knowing that there’s not much blood in it and that I’m an intellectual powerhouse now who can fully appreciate this kind of thing. I duly drank a bottle of wine, then put it on the projector while opening my next bottle. Foolproof.

Chronicling the career of oil prospector, fraudster and borderline sociopath Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis), and with apparently some relation to a real life oil-exploiter but ugh, who cares, There Will Be Blood unfolds over decades. It's an epic and I plan on doing reviews of a few of these over the coming weeks so buckle up. Paul Dano’s Paul Sunday, who may or may not be who he says he is, encircles and aggravates Plainview, who creates enemies out of friends with consummate ease. He’s not very nice, and neither is Sunday.

At around the 20 minute mark, I was quite taken in by Daniel Day-Lewis’ very long fingers. There Will Be Blood is every bit as well made as I remembered, more so if I’m completely honest, but man those insect like digits had me thinking of The Thing. I need to rewatch The Thing. The whole film becomes a very well made story of who's worse: Dano's full of it, smarmy, pious Preacher or Daniel Day-Lewis's duplicitous, single minded monster.
I have some notes here but I can't read them, this is the problem with writing in the dark with quite a bit of wine in you. They’re almost completely illegible. It says something like it's like “a perverter both in style and in substance”. I like the word perverter, but I doubt that’s what I meant. Oh this ridiculous. I can't read any of these fucking scribbles but never mind I always have my photographic memory to rely on!

Unfolding with superb cinematography, a great score and fantastic performances, There Will Be Blood is at its heart a character study, but here’s the problem- I don’t like that character. He's conflicted at best, at worst he's a self-serving anus. A film of two hours thirty eight minutes watching a wanker get richer and be more awful in varying ways. But hey it looks nice and said wanker is very realistic due to Day-Lewis’ performance and yes, stringy fingers.

There's an argument over subjectivity and objectivity here because I completely understand why some people love this film, and objectively it is splendidly put together. It’d be a harsh critic who argued against There Will Be Blood’s beauty, but I think the subjective element to film loving always outweighs its opposite.

Bedsit it?

I didn’t like many of the main characters and therefore spending almost three hours of my life with them (again) does not make me love this film. 7/10 purely for excellence in everything apart from making me warm to it. 2007 Adam was right and that’s a memory I won’t forget. Now where's the wine?

More EPIC reviews on the way. For now why not try these!...


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