Upon my first viewing of “There Will Be Blood” I made the amateur mistake of watching it with a group of people. Once it became apparent that it wasn’t your typical Hollywood flick delivering blood, guts and boobs at rate of every 6 seconds, my fellow viewers slowly lost interest one by one and the room progressively filled with chatter. No offense to a majority of movie-viewers out there, but it seems as if our attention spans suffer a great deal when we’re forced to sit through a real-time film, portraying real events in a real setting, in a realistic manner. Oh, but good things come to those who wait.
This movie did a fantastic job of transforming a novel titled “Oil!” into a film that’s worthy of the title “There Will Be Blood”. Many doubted the ability to transform an educational novel about the history of oil into a film worthy of viewing, and after two years worth of effort in getting it financed it finally came to be. Good thing too, otherwise I would have one less movie to add to my Top Ten.
Not only is it beautiful to watch; the lighting, the machinery, the gritty glimpse into hard, dirty work, it’s wonderful to listen to. The soundtrack and audio is what had me gripping my chair. I was keyed up, unnerved, just as a worker on an oil rig would be. I felt as if at any second I would be hurt, and there was more than one instance I found myself literally holding my breath.
The touch of lifestyle differences in characters – self sacrifice to God – self sacrifice to oil – was a strong portrayal of the human relationships and business deals that occurred in this film. The way it portrayed humiliation and silent revenge was beautiful. Daniel Day-Lewis gets 5 stars from me; the voice, the stern face, the mustache. It’s a rare instance that I am unable to come up with a list (sometimes brief…sometimes not) of things I would change about a movie, but this completely threw my mental list-making habits out the window. There was nothing else I was focused on other than the great film in front of me.
TWBB taught me to be patient, to wait, and to watch. The music and audio encouraged me to anticipate. Nothing left me disappointed. Committing to the film and making an experience of it would be my advice to a first-time viewer.
It takes its time and makes you wait…but don’t give up! There certainly will be blood. In the words of Senator Albert Fall, “I drink your milkshake!”.

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