There Will Be Blood
is a classic Greek Tragedy (tragedy,
from Gr.,=goat song :huh:--maybe that explains the music) which has been a favorite vehicle for actors and playwrights ever since. It does often induce great performances, as in this case, but it also feeds the need for gratuitous voyeurism in the audience, watching (enjoying?) the tragic flaws in the powerful and influential play themselves out. And here we get two for the price of one with Daniel Plainview and Eli Sunday.
I expect that it was an expression of Plainview's character as well as a political statement that he is made to say that he wants everyone else to fail. I don't think you need to look any further than to say that his fatal flaw is his self-hatred that he projects on everyone else. Beyond that, it's all performance, and wondering if his latest erratic action was pertinent or just something to keep the plot moving.
Casting Hans Howes to play Mr. Bandy was great. That face! And the scene between Plainview and him was a high point.
I suppose it doesn't help that I'm not a P.T. Anderson fan, except for Magnolia
, which is a magnificent keeper. Guess I keep hoping for another.
His last words, the last words of the movie were, "I'm finished", which had an ironic double or triple meaning. He was of course finished with his meal, but his life was also finished since they hung people pretty quickly back then for murder. But even if he did get off, his reputation was finished as was his soul since he had effectively succeeded in hating himself to death. What good is financial success if you come to it in such a state, despising everyone as much as you disgust yourself.
Speaking of No Country for Old Men
Well somebody finally talked me into seeing this movie. Said it wasn't a blood for blood's sake horror movie (like Sweeney Todd
), and that the story was really interesting. They were right on both counts, but then there was that #%&%$^&$## ending. It seemed like several times during the last 15 or 20 minutes, it looked like they were wrapping it up, but it didn't. I thought, they're setting me up for one of those pointless '60's good-and-evil-are-irrelevant-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it downer hanging curve ball wtf endings. Then, about the time I finally decided they weren't, they did. :wtf
It isn't that there was no resolution, there was, he got away with it--but why spend all that time and money to make a movie about that? Justice is old and tired and maybe a little bit afraid (thus the title).
There were also some unanswered questions like where was Anton hiding in the shadows when Jones went back to the motel, and why? What happened to the money, the Mexicans get it? What happened to his wife? Why was Llewelyn sitting on the bed right in line with the door when Anton was coming?
The first 3/4 of the movie is excellent if not outstanding. I thought Josh Brolin turned in the best acting, but Bardem has a presence that requires nothing but a stone face or sneer. I liked it better than Fargo
(not my favorite to begin with) but not as much as OBWAT. Great dialogue in places:
Llewelyn Moss: If I don't come back, tell mother I love her.
Carla Jean Moss: Your mother's dead, Llewelyn.
Llewelyn Moss: Well then I'll tell her myself.
Carson Wells: You know, I counted the floors coming up here and there's one missing.
Man who hired Wells: We'll look into it.
Appx., very prophetic, quote:
Lewelyn (filling water jug to take to injured man in truck): I'm about to do something real stupid.
If you're like me and can appreciate a downer ending as long as it has something positive to say, you'll be looking forward to the next movie based on this author's (Cormac McCarthy's) latest novel, The Road
, which starts filming next month and stars Viggo Mortensen. I call it the antidote to NCFOM.