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Old 08-21-2017, 07:20 PM   #1152
Talon87
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Just finished watching There Will Be Blood for the first time. Thoughts:

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Daniel Day-Lewis's acting? 10/10, top notch.

Everything else about the movie? 8/10 at best, all the way down to 4/10 or 5/10 at the lowest. I dunno ... it just ... wasn't for me. ^^; Since numbers don't tell the full story, I'll elaborate.

I was pretty bored by the plot. Daniel Day-Lewis was captivating in his portrayal of main character Daniel Plainview, but aside from the onscreen enigma there was little for me here to enjoy. The film wasn't some great mystery. Neither was it an action thriller, an unforgettable horror, nor a hilarious comedy. The film takes 2 hours and 30 minutes to tell a story that could have easily been done in just sixty minutes. I'm not happy with that: I feel like the movie wasted my time, big time. Far too many unnecessary scenes to establish plot, character, or theme. Everything the film wants to say, it more than manages to say with only half of what's on display. It's just too much. And it would be fine if the plot were riveting, but ... it isn't! "This guy is a monster. He is made of the best of us but does the worst deeds of us." His drive. His ...

His drive is actually worth veering off for a second just to discuss. This is perhaps his single most defining attribute, and is the one which captivates me (and, I assume, most audience members) the most. Drive is something which we champion in our society. We condemn laziness and procrastination. We applaud those with a strong work ethic, those who struggle and persevere. Here we have a man who is, from the film's opening scene, a prime example of a man who is driven ... and yet he is everything wrong with it. A man who rarely made time for family. A man who ruined lives to get what he wanted. A man who ended lives to get what he wanted. Something we celebrate takes on such horrifying appearance when Evil is placed in the driver's seat.

But I didn't need the ten to twenty different scenes this film relied upon to send that message clearly. And that goes for every other aspect of the film, too. Whether it's themes of capitalism, amorality, false religion, you name it, the film doesn't require all of the ammunition it uses to get these messages across. And while excess material is happily forgiven when that material is exhilarating to watch ... this one's wasn't. It felt an awful lot like a film I'd be forced to watch in high school. Or a book I'd be forced to read for high school or middle school. Not one of the rare gems like a Brave New World or a Westing Game that was a pleasure to read AND educationally valuable, but the My Antonias, the Ethan Fromes, the Grapes of Wraths that felt much more homeworky and ... BORING.

While I wish the complaints could end with the plot, sadly not. :\ The musical score, I just wasn't feeling it. It ranged from dull to distracting, and was never great. The acting from the other actors? Nowhere near Day-Lewis's level. And while that's to be forgiven, given that he is a living legend for his acting abilities, the problem is that the other actors weren't even great by reasonable merits. They ranged again from merely okay at best to downright weak.

I do think that someone who is more into themes than I am will get much better mileage from this movie. This movie seems set up to be a theme-lover's paradise, with lots of potential symbolism and themes to be found throughout.

I didn't realize it came from this movie until the scene fell right into my lap, but I did realize right at the end when Eli showed up in the basement: "Hey wait a second ... IS THIS THE MOVIE WITH THE SCENE SET IN A BOWLING ALLEY WHERE SOMEONE BEATS THE SHIT OUT OF SOMEONE ELSE!? :o" So I guess I can say I've finally seen that scene now. "I drink your milkshake."

Last edited by Talon87; 08-21-2017 at 07:33 PM.
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