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Review: There will be blood

Chances are that Daniel Day-Lewis will grab his second Oscar for this performance which could have ruined by a lesser accomplished actor, writes Rashid Irani.

movie reviews Updated: Feb 23, 2008 12:57 IST
Rashid Irani

There will be Blood
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Kevin J O’Connor
Direction: Paul Thomas Anderson
Rating: ***

What most of us seek from cinema is emotional sustenance – we want to be with men and women we can admire, be amused by or even detest. Now, Daniel Day-Lewis is an oil tycoon in the America of the 1920s, who has a deep hatred for most people and thinks he can justify that by making pots of money, which he does.

In other words, There will be Blood adapted from an Upton Sinclair novel, hinges for more than two-and-a-half hours on the story of Daniel Plainview who absolutely loathes humankind -- to the extent of caring a damn if his adopted son’s hearing is impaired after an accident.

This man who would be demigod cares for no one but himself, and is self-reliant to get over his hurts and wounds without expecting anyone’s sympathy or care.

Ordinarily, such a character would not have rooted your interest after a while. He is a kind of a megalomaniac Citizen Kane but without Orson Welles’ manic brilliance.

If we stay with the cheating, greed-driven, woman-hating oil king, it’s essentially because he is played superbly by Day-Lewis. Chances are that he will grab his second Oscar (after My Left Foot) for this performance which could have ruined by a lesser accomplished actor.

Throughout ,the production design and cinematography are of the highest technical order. The unusual electronic background music by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, helps considerably in giving the epic an edge. None of the supporting players is worth writing home about, except perhaps for O’Connor who fetches up, claiming that he’s the tycoon’s step-brother. Incidentally, the film’s end is a bit of a let-down.

Still, the movie’s worth look because of Day-Lewis who’s guaranteed to make your matinee.