THERE WILL BE BOREDOM
The latest from Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis was a monstrous 158 minute epic about the oil boom of the 1800’s. The preview was misleading. I was not prepared for 158 minutes of awkwardly long scenes and long-drug out storylines.
The movie centers on Daniel Plainview, Day-Lewis, and his quest to be the biggest oil tycoon. He is a man that will do next to anything to be that person. Throughout the film, we are shown how ruthless and unscrupulous he can be when something or someone gets in the way of his dream. This is the only aspect of the film that I thought was well done and that I enjoyed.
It opens on Daniel searching for an ore-like rock in a hole signaling that oil is there. He then finds it and so starts his mission mentioned above. After an unfortunate accident killing his friend, Daniel takes in his baby boy and calls him his own, HW Plainview. They travel west to drill for oil. They proposition towns and villages offering cuts of the profits, jobs, and instant production. He makes his way out to a little village after a mysterious meeting with Eli Sunday, portrayed Paul Dano. Upon arrival in this village, Eli welcomes them, only his name is Paul. I am not quite sure what this was all about. My thoughts are that Eli/Paul has a multiple personality disorder. Paul is the pastor at the church and that is his motivation for everything that he does. Daniel is not a religious man, so this causes some conflict.
As for the rest of the film, Daniel’s son loses his hearing in an accident, sends him away, is found by his old lost brother, becomes rich, and then the ending occurs. The ending still baffles me to this day. I feel like I missed something, but at the same time, I feel like I just was not meant to get it. Paul comes back from a mission trip. H.W. leaves the family business to start his own company. Daniel is a crabby old man.
Verdict: If I hadn’t seen the SNL skit making fun of this and No Country for Old Men called “I Drink Your Milkshake,” some of the scenes might have been more powerful, but instead they were lost on me as I was trying not to laugh. If you are an avid Academy Award Nominee watcher like me, you will see this movie no matter what I say. But, I do not recommend this movie if you were a fence sitter. It is extremely long and loses focus in the end. There is no climax per se. It does not have any closure, but then again I feel that the movie had no need for any. It was weird. I did see this on an early dismissal from work due to snow instead of sitting in stopped traffic. But I do not think that affected my reaction. It did not grow on me in time. I’M FINISHED!