Friday, April 4, 2008

There Will Be Blood -- Jimmy's perspective

I just watched There Will Be Blood with a friend this evening. I've yet to see a film with such superb acting. Daniel Day Lewis, Paul Dano, and the film's creators deserve every ounce of respect they received.

I consider myself to be a fairly intellectual person with a fair concept of how to read films, but I must say, I've no idea what this film was about. And I say that in best possible way. TWBB paints such vivid, detailed images that its nearly impossible to decipher parallels and subtext in a single sitting. In other words, this is a very rich text for greater study.

As mentioned earlier, the acting in this film is second to none. Lewis and Dano rendered their characters with such passion that it's difficult to think of them as anything but real. I expected to keep seeing Dano as an incarnation of Dwayne in a different setting but the artfully played, money-hungry pastor shared nothing in common with previous characters. Lewis is such a chameleon that comparison with past roles didn't even enter my mind with this film. The slow, deliberate drawl carried a force and determination that was difficult to even associate with the soft-spoken Lewis.

The score for the film was quite good as well. The string arrangements created extreme amounts of tension while the simple percussion coupled with the other elements of the score helped to reflect the rising action. There were a few sections that didn't seem to work well, and actually resembled a well-recorded kindergarten music class. All in all Atonement deserved the Oscar it received, but the score here served its purpose well.

Without picking the thing apart even more (also, I'm just tired), There Will Be Blood is a fantastic movie if you seek a stimulating, challenging film. Buy it when it comes out of video. I know I will.

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