Friday, 10 July 2009

I drink your milkshake

I don't have to say that There Will Be Blood is an excellent film. You probably know that already. So instead I'll write about one small part of it - the battle between Daniel Plainview and Eli Sunday. An atheist and a preacher, both slightly mad, delivering a series of blows to each other throughout the film. They both have the same powerful, corrupting ambition and use oil or God to find success. What's only a minor disagreement explodes (literally) halfway through the film into something physically and mentally violent. Plainview slaps Sunday around a bit and as revenge gets baptised in full fire-and-brimstone mode. Like most of the film, the baptism scene is funny and troubling at the same time, with Plainview only seeing it as an elaborate show. Sunday is a wonderfully over-enthusiastic preacher, using the service to hit Plainview back. It's difficult to side with any character, but I did get the sense that Sunday was too smug for his own good.

I won't mention the ending because, obviously, I'd go to a special sort of hell for that. Apart from to say that it's unsettling, satisfying, tragic and comic - all at the same time. Paul Thomas Anderson has constructed a brilliant thing.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen this, I tend to stay away from violent stuff, but I do like the actor Paul Dano very much from his performances in "Little Miss Sunshine" and supporting work in "The Girl Next Door".