Tuesday, April 15, 2008

There Will Be Blood (movie review)

This contemporary award winner (Daniel Day-Lewis for best actor, also best cinematography) surprised me with its bold sound track, and long opening with no dialog, which reminded me of Lost, right down to the shaft and old dynamite: welcome to another hell of sorts.

Once the dialog begins, it's still about the music of it all, the power of communication. Some of the loudest drumming signals the onset of deafness, a pivotal scene as now the boy is beyond the reach of that fatherly, mellifluous, soothing, and controlling voice, in his own world for the first time.

Unheeded warnings, danger signs, people in grotesque aspects: all very disturbingly psychotic, with the only religion in the picture even more so.

The game between Daniel and Eli becomes one of mutual humiliation, each poking holes in the other's story and self image, letting the sense bleed away.

They're mirror images in many ways, challenging one another's integrity and authenticity as competing patriarchs, both full of misanthropy and self-loathing. The specter of false brotherhood haunts the subplot as well, which likewise ends badly.

I understand why this picture is celebrated, although it leaves me mumbling prayers for greater happiness among sentient beings, we humans included. The ancient Greeks would understand.