“There Will Be Blood” in review

Classic film illuminates dark side of capitalism

More stories from Alyssa Anderson

Getting Weird
December 13, 2018

Contrary to what the title implies, there really isn’t a whole lot of blood in this movie. On the other hand, there is a whole lot of oil and angry men with ridiculous moustaches.

Nevertheless, the 150 minutes you spend watching this film will be time well spent. From Nov. 6 to Nov. 8, the Woodland Theater in Davies Center will be showing “There Will be Blood,” a gritty, intense film with a disturbingly powerful message you won’t want to miss out on.

When I first sat down to watch this movie, I expected something along the lines of a Tarantino-esque gun extravaganza. I soon discovered I was vastly misinformed. “There Will Be Blood,” set in the early 1900s, tells the tale of Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), an ambitious miner determined to master the oil business at whatever cost.

To begin his mission, Plainview launches a campaign to small-town landowners, convincing them to sell their land so he can drill for oil. Plainview’s oil-obsessed plans are put on hold when he meets his opponent, self-proclaimed prophet Eli Sunday (Paul Dano). Even so, this technique allows Plainview to build an empire.

The film quickly takes a murderous turn as Plainview becomes increasingly obsessed with the power and profit oil gives him. Plainview’s paranoia and complete abandonment of his moral compass shed light on an unsettling truth: Money is power, but power can destroy you.

While the plot may not sound enticing to most, this film is still a must-see due to Dano and Day-Lewis’ incredible performances. Day-Lewis’ ruthless portrayal of Plainview garnered him an Academy Award for best actor.

Often hailed as a masterpiece, critics claim “There Will Be Blood” is director Paul Thomas Anderson’s best film to date, receiving a 91 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. One reviewer called it “a stark and pitiless parable of American capitalism,” and I would have to agree.

Finding a negative review was not an easy task, but a reviewer on Metacritic described the film as “two hours I’ll never get back.” Though I feel that comment is a bit extreme, I can definitely say this movie is not for everyone.

This film is unsettling, to say the least. I think I was sweating from nervousness during the whole thing. I found my eyes glued to the screen. Even though my body was desperate for sleep, I fought my exhaustion in order to see it through to the end and I’m glad I did.

If you are looking for a movie you can sit back and relax to, this is not the movie for you. However, if you are anything like me and enjoy movies that stress you out and make you think, this film is right up your alley.