â€œLadies and Gentlemenâ€ I absolutely have to tell you before I say anything at all â€“ that you should immediately open another tab in your browser where you should find the next show time for Andersonâ€™s â€œThere Will Be Blood.â€ You should then purchase tickets and go and enjoy a movie that makes my brain spin with all of the things that I want to say about it â€“ while at the same time confusing my mouth to the point where I kind of have a hard time putting all of those thoughts into a coherent enough string where they make any kind of sense. I hope that you will bear with me.
The movie opens in the darkened shaft of a mine where we are introduced to Daniel Plainview â€“ played with ridiculous force by Daniel Day Lewis (yeah â€“ I know that I just said â€˜forceâ€™ â€“ but seriously â€“ he does a stupendously good job â€“ so deal with it) â€“ and it becomes apparent after an initial set of events that he is a character that is driven with such an animal determination for what he wants that there is nothing that he wouldnâ€™t do to keep his train not only on the tracks â€“ but also charging full steam ahead. He wants to better himself with money â€“ because he perceives that money is the only way to climb the social ladder through whatever ruthless and systematic means that are necessary so that he can go up to the big men (the railroads and the big oil corporations) that have put a chip on his shoulder â€“ as big men can sometimes do â€“ and spit in their faces. It isnâ€™t even that the big men have maliciously kept him and others at his societal status down â€“ but even worse â€“ because the restless rabble of the world are so far beneath their notice that they scarcely even exist. Maybe he was just struggling to ensure that he existed.
The score to the movie is by Johnny Greenwood from Radiohead (a quick sidenote: how good is that last album? There have been numerous times since getting it that I have just listened to it on a loop â€“ until a little bird chimes in that â€œthis is the third time that we have heard this . . .â€) and even though I have heard from some that it sometimes feels at juxtaposition to what is happening in the movie â€“ I thoroughly enjoyed it.
One of the crazier things about the movie is how despicable Plainview is. His actions are inherently deplorable â€“ and yet â€“ I really liked watching him and trying to figure out what was driving him to do certain things. Why the rope was so forcefully pulling him forward. Were the demons had come from that made him do the things that he did and why through all of that â€“ even as driven for money as he was â€“ he almost always seemed to give people what they had coming to them â€“ there is one case where this is totally not true and another couple where it is carried out glaringly overstated ways.
Sorry if this is all convoluted â€“ but as I explained in the beginning â€“ there is so much to talk about. I feel like I should start a book club for this movie where we can all sit around and dissect it. Jeez â€“ I didnâ€™t even mention how much I liked the look of the movie . . . or the crazy couple sitting next to me that tried to ruin it with the woman fanning herself and blurting out that she was hot at half hour intervals while the guy kept saying things along the lines of â€œYo â€“ this movie is stupidâ€ â€“ oh how I wanted them to leave the theater â€“ oh how badly did they bother me . . . Iâ€™m not sure that they had any idea of what movie they were going to see. Afterwards â€“ I chippishly said to the little bird that had seen the movie with me that â€œperhaps they should have instead opted to go and see the chipmunk movie . . .â€