Friday, February 8, 2008

A Great Actor in a Poor Script

Every once in awhile, a great actor comes along. Most people recognize that Daniel Day Lewis is one such actor. He has found a role recently in which he must provide himself the motivations of a person who appears insane, but who is not really insane. This man, Daniel Plainview, is an oilman. He pronounces himself such. He looks for oil, and the finding of oil is his blood-life. Without the searching for oil, his life has little meaning. "I have a competition in me; I want no one else to succeed." This is his motivation; and appears to be his only one. He must succeed, and everyone else must fail.

He looks with disdain upon a church expanding; a symbol of the success of a proud, delusional preacher. He looks with distrust upon a brother, who hold secrets of his own past and threatens to be successful. He looks with hatred upon his own who may be able to develop into an oil man himself.

Daniel Day Lewis shows his character's deepest need subtly throughout the film THERE WILL BE BLOOD, but the script does little to help him. The script and its director paint his character as a raving maniac, especially toward the end of the film. But, Daniel Plainview is not a nut. He is just determined to keep himself on the top of the heap, no matter the consequences.

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