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April 4, 2008
By Anonymous

“There Will Be Blood” is a beautifully made character analysis set in the early days of oil mining. Nominated for eight Academy Awards, this film is an instant classic to be remembered for decades. Daniel Day-Lewis portrays our protagonist, Daniel Plainview; this role has landed the actor his second Academy Award. Robert Elswit proves his worthiness as a cinematographer and shoots beautifully, earning his first Oscar. The film is subtle and relies mainly on the characters, a trademark of the great mind of young director Paul Thomas Anderson.
The movie is loosely based on Upton Sinclair’s novel, Oil, and tells the story silver miner-turned-oil miner Daniel Plainview and his adopted son, H.W. Daniel strikes it big in North California, but competes with religious fanatic Eli Sunday who claims he is a prophet and a messenger from God, played by Paul Dano. Daniel’s motivations throughout the film are debatable and difficult to understand, and we often find ourselves asking whether we like his character or not.
A common complaint about this film is that it is slow-paced. Personally, I find it very interesting all the way through, and wanted to watch the film again the moment it ended. The film is a real-life portrayal of a greedy man whose only goal is to make money, not the latest action-packed, blockbuster gore-fest. The movie’s name is “There Will Be Blood”, which intimidates many parents, but the film is fairly tame and, ironically, has a very low amount of blood.
The next complaint is that we are not introduced to Daniel Plainview’s childhood or his background. The movie is a character analysis, not a character explanation. We are expected to analyze Daniel’s motivations and try to speculate as to why he has become who he is. Ambiguity, speculation, symbolism, and interpretation are brilliant aspects of cinema, but unfortunately, they are often the least liked.
The last, most irritating complaint is the ending. “It ends too abruptly” and “it’s like the ending came from another movie” will often be heard as a crowd leaves a theater. I was left in awe, amazed at the ending. It was unconventional, and that is what made it brilliant. I give congratulations to Paul Thomas Anderson for his bravery in exploring the unorthodox. Even the last lines carry much hated ambiguity.
In conclusion, “There Will Be Blood” is a must-see. The acting alone is exceptional, not to mention the beauteous cinematography and remarkable directing. The film has been met with much positive criticism along with many accusing gripes. Ultimately, I encourage you to watch “There Will Be Blood” and realize what a great cinematic achievement it is.

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