There Will Be Blood Preview

It is interesting that, wherever the history, oil is somehow an acronym for war. We all know its role in our current zeitgeist, but track back a hundred years and it was an issue of conflict and contention then, albeit on a different scale and circumstance. What There Will Be Blood illustrates so finely is the fact that greed, the competition for wealth and desire for power that drives the world of today are eternally looping, constantly replayed traits of the human condition.

And what other thesp could convey such an emotive array of evil that Machiavelli or Milton would be proud of? Mr Daniel Day-Lewis, that’s who. His portrayal of self-serving oil tycoon Daniel Plainview at the turn of the 20th century is set to be an on-screen scorcher.

Plainview graduates from silver to oil mining when he inadvertently gets rich by a lucky strike, unscrupulously recruiting people to help him amass his fortune, including his own children (which some of you, especially my own twin brother, might regard as prudent business sense).

When he encounters Eli Sunday (Dano), things change. Plainview attempts to persuade Sunday to allow him to drill on his property, but he is not as coercible as everyone else Plainview dupes. With Sunday’s strong sense of Christian morality, a clash arises that moves to deconstruct Plainview’s corrupt nature and extreme greed.

The religious component laces the narrative with a sense of Christian allegory (that ageold theme of good vs evil), but makes for a more powerful, poignant picture. Karmic retribution and pretty much the entire human emotional spectrum is examined in this, Lewis’s fourth on-screen outing in a decade.

For me, it’s great to be able to see him reprise some of the venom he spouted in Gangs of New York, once again acting out evil with merciless lust. Enjoy.

And don’t forget to salute the legend of Lewis as he expertly shows that there is always a price to pay.