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REVIEW: THERE WILL BE BLOOD

PUBLISHED: 11:42 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:15 22 July 2010

JUSTIN MATLOCK reviews THERE WILL BE BLOOD (15).

IN terms of scope, visuals and most certainly its length, THERE WILL BE BLOOD (15) is epic cinema.

Loosely based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil!, the birth of the oil industry is laid bare here as tenacious entrepreneur Daniel Plainvew (Daniel Day-Lewis) builds his own little empire by charming simple folk out of their Californian land while battling a determined evangelist preacher who has his own agenda.

Director Paul Thomas Anderson adds plenty of period detail to the simple story and goes to great lengths to show how oil is sucked out of the ground but at heart, this is an intimate character study, focused exclusively on the increasingly dark emotional journey of Plainview.

All gruff voice and bottled rage, Plainview is by turns warm, ruthless, manipulative and dangerously charismatic and Day-Lewis attacks the part with a ferocity that is simply breathtaking.

His performance is the heart of the movie but Anderson is no slouch either. After urban thrillers Boogie Nights and Magnolia, he's brave enough to go outside his comfort zone with this complex historical drama.

After all how many directors would dare to create a movie with no dialogue for the first 15 minutes?

The boldness pays off as Anderson mixes flawed characters, beautiful landscapes and a sinister soundtrack into an uniquely gripping experience. - JUSTIN MATLOCK


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