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 There Will Be Blood
 Critic's Rating
 Date Posted
   1st March, 2008
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Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Martin Stringer, Kevin J. O'Connor
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

"There will be blood" is an astonishingly vivid, unflinchingly evil and sometimes, in transmitting to the screen the intensity of a raging mad man, unabashedly uproarious. In the final analysis, it may be described as the descent of a man into madness. In actuality, it is the story of a man already mad in his gleeful quest to fulfill an insatiable greed; he knows and understands his drive may alienate all around him, so he establishes a persona of normalcy. This is how the film begins - he is a 'family man', wants to help people, cares for his workers. As the film proceeds, first over a few years, then across many decades, the barriers start to break away and what is left is ferocious animal who, in isolation, no longer feels the needs to confine himself to what 'these people' want.

The film itself is a sweeping tale, and very American in its themes of greed, capitalism and religious zeal. The visuals are sprawling, framed in broad, beautiful strokes, the sets entirely realistic and believable. This is one of those films where even the child actors perform with conviction. Anderson's visuals gain a poetic momentum, elegant and sublime in an assured way. It imagines and uses Kubrick as its inspiration, and the moody, picturesque settings engulf the viewer. The creepy, baroque music, credited to Radiohead's Johnny Greenwood, sensationalises these visuals and adds to them great texture - fear and uncertainty during the opening scenes; and anxiety during a fantastic scene where oil and fire gushes forth from the ground in a shower of black rain. The last act takes a unexpected, somewhat bizzare turn, though partly credible within the confines of the film itself. It may reflect maturity on Anderson's part as a writer, but may leave others (myself included) scratching their heads for sometime letting what has just transpired grow on them. Whatever the case, it is undeniably visionary. If for no other reason, "There will be blood" should be watched for its audaciousness and daring. - Faizan Rashid

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