Friday, February 22, 2008

There Will Be Blood (movie review)

When hubby and I were discussing what to do for Valentine's Day, he suggested dinner and a movie. Perfect. His favorite thing is eating and my favorite thing is going to the movies...what could be better?

Actually, we do the "dinner and a movie" on a fairly regular basis. It's our big "date" night and we have a blast. He suggested a romantic comedy for the occasion. I, on the other hand, wanted to see "There Will Be Blood."

HUBBY: "There Will Be Blood"? Are you crazy? That's not very romantic.

ME: I know, but the previews were amazing! And it's nominated for an Academy Award. I want to see what the fuss is about.

HUBBY: Wouldn't you rather see "Fool's Gold"?

ME: I want to see "There Will Be Blood." Please, honey?

Despite Hubby's adamant statement that he would hate the movie, he agreed. I was so glad when Daniel Day-Lewis proved him wrong.

At the theatre, the opening sequence took us by surprise. There was no music and no opening credits. In fact, there was no dialog for several minutes. Just a man (Day-Lewis) mining for silver. An infant appeared on the scene. A train ride to the future as the infant became a boy. Then all hell broke loose as we saw Day-Lewis take the movie by the horns and wrest it to his will. I've never seen a character portrayed so well. We were mesmerized.

Don't even get me started on themes and motifs: God, Satan, Lies, Greed, Despair and Loneliness, as well as Life, Love and Hope.

The cinematography was superb. Every frame a work of art...light, color, contrast, shape, form. It was like I was at an art museum and every time I turned a corner, the beauty of the next scene took my breath away.

The music in the film was a character as well. For example, the boy becomes deaf due to an oil well explosion. When we are viewing the world from the boy's perspective --- music (cello, violin, viola) reveals the lonely, silent world of the deaf child. A stark contrast to the death and destruction that takes place throughout the story.

The powerful final scene resolves the conflict between Day-Lewis' character and his nemesis: Eli Sunday, the false prophet. Day-Lewis is not a hero in this film. He is evil. He is alone. He hates Man and he hates God. It is not a Hollywood ending where the protagonist changes his stripes and realizes the true meaning of life. He ends the way he began.

After the film, Hubby admitted that he enjoyed the movie, saying it wasn't at all what he expected. It wasn't what I had expected, either. But as far as I was concerned, this film would go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.

Later, at our favorite Mexican restaurant over margaritas, we raised our glasses, looked in each others' eyes and made a Valentine's Day toast: "There Will Be Blood."

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