There Will Be Blood is one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a while. It is a lumbering, senseless beast, with a soundtrack desperately trying to make you care about what is going on. So much is going on musically, even as so little is going on on-screen. In the end, the soundtrack cannot resuscitate this dead screentime.
Daniel Day-Lewis plays an oil-man who is evil for no reason whatsoever. He is full of hate and he has no reason to be full of hate. He attacks people and broods like a turn-of-the-century emo kid on PCP. His character, Daniel Plainview, is a silver-miner turned oil-prospector. He meets a lunatic preacher about whom nothing whatsoever is interesting in any way played by Paul Dano. That anyone tolerates Paul Dano’s preacher character, Eli Sunday, in this film is no less than miraculous. He is as frothing and shrill as he is stupid.
For no reason, people’s lives are threatened. There is slapping. And some more slapping. And a little more slapping. People jump on each other. Plainview’s adopted child, named H.W., tries to burn their home down for no reason after he is deafened in an accident.
Honestly, I think that Daniel Day-Lewis demonstrates that he is still one of the best actors alive, but his performance is nowhere near enough to justify this film. No amount of acting talent could make this script fun or interesting to watch. A lot was also said about the cinematography. I don’t know how to judge cinematography, really. It is a beautiful looking movie at times, but that is a far cry from a beautiful movie.
The movie constantly tries to promise that something is about to happen. Its going to be big. Its going to pay you back for all that time you spent bored and uninterested, waiting, hoping against hope that something would actually happen. Someone would explain why they are a lunatic. You’d get some characterization. Something. Anything. That something, when it finally rears is head just shy of the closing credits, is an anticlimactic fight scene in an empty bowling alley between two screaming characters who have long since lost even the capacity to be caricatures of real people. And then its sort of over.
I have no idea how anyone won awards for this film. Run from it, or else…there will be crap.
I just realized why this movie was such a complete waste of time. It was done by the same person who did Punch Drunk Love. And that was also the worst movie I’d seen in a long time when I went to see it whenever it was out in theaters. I asked for my money back, but understandably, I was denied. You can’t blame the theater, after all, for showing a hideously bad movie. It was my fault for paying to see it, and I admit it.
Paul Thomas Anderson, please stop making movies.