Aside: There Will Be Blood. mini review

there will be bloodThere’s actually not that much blood, in there will be blood. But it’s awfully menacing nonetheless. I came out with this feeling as to why people *really* want this to be a Great Movie, to win an Oscar if not all of them. To give the film meaning. If you’ve seen it, you desperately want it to have some real meaning because, the consequences, otherwise, are troubling.

On the surface, There Will be Blood is a movie about the evils of capitalism vs the evils of evangelicalism (no third options are presented). Great liberal hot buttons to be sure, but there’s no actual debate as to the actual merits/demerits of these ideas as this is a movie about characters (two monstrous, screen chewing characters) not about ideas. This is debating by critiquing the person rather than the idea. The notion of this movie as constructive social commentary falls through.

What’s more PT seems to be saying that should you fall in to one camp you may be pleasant on the surface but, fundamentally, you are creepy, maniacal and flawed human being. Should you fall in to the other camp, you may be pleasant on the surface but, fundamentally, you are creepy, maniacal and flawed human being. Not second option is presented.

There is only one character in this movie, Plainview and the preacher are the same. All other characters are little more than scenery in There Will be Blood, consistently represented with no effective free will of their own.

In PT’s world, all people are either evil, or inconsequential. Pick one.

This is why the movie cries out for validation on some/any other basis. Critics want it to represent a valid and relevant social allegory, or failing than to stand as solely a Great example of acting and film-making craft

Because if, in your mind, you can’t safely compartmentalize it as a Great Film then you’d have to consider this film, like the character of Plainview himself, as nothing more than an adept but otherwise sad –if not crazed- extended, bitter embodiment of the patheticism of you and me every other ordinary human.

And that could get under your skin.

For the record, I liked No Country for Old Men a little better.

Link: theatrical trailer