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Movie Review: There will be Blood


This is another movie, totally sidelined by the Globes, that went on to pick up two Academy awards, for best actor and best cinematography. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview an entrepreneur seeking oil in the early part of the 20th century.


Fast talking, conniving and shrewd businessman, Plainview arrives in a small remote and desolate California town where the local farmers subsist on goat herding and potatoes. Plainview tries to hustle the one of the families of farmers into selling their land,which is rich in oil to him for a paltry sum.

He is met with a large challenge from a totally unexpected corner. A young man in the family of farmers who is a budding preacher stands up to Daniel and is unafraid of Daniel's intimidation or his violent disposition. Tension mounts between the two as more complications take hold of Daniel's life.

Much has been written about Day-Lewis' acting but the cinematography for this movie simply overshadowed his performance. It is breathtaking in magnitude and had me riveted to the screen. There is one particular scene where oil from below suddenly erupts into a gigantic fountain as Plainview scrambles to rescue his son. Moments later triumph turns to tragedy as the whole fountain erupts into flame and his son looses his hearing as a result of the calamity.

Daniel is an eternal optimist who things that this is a minor setback and that there is more oil beneath. This is the optimism displayed by most entrepreneurs, including those that came after him in the face of setback. It is this optimism that has made this a great country.

However, Daniel's win-at-all costs attitude also displayed by many modern entrepreneurs, leads him down the path to insanity, and makes him commit diabolical acts. The movie delivers a powerful message at the end: Is success at all costs worth the price some are willing to pay for it?

As many have said before me, 'There will be Blood' is the classic American tale of entrepreneurship and the American dream. It is a saga of financial success and victories to the ego which come at the price of loosing one's soul, loved ones and happiness. This is a very important film that will go down as a Hollywood classic.

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