Tuesday, March 11, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Over spring break I had the opportunity to watch the Oscar winning movie There Will Be Blood. For those of you who have seen the movie this will be abundantly clear and for those of you who have not I will not spoil it for you. The movie itself, staged in the early years of the oil boom in the western portion of the United States, is steeped in imagery and symbolism. A very poignant critique of the often discussed "American Dream," exists within the overarching context of the movie, which gives this movie an apt social commentary on American roots. It also concentrates heavily on gender based criticism of this period in American history. The movie centers around masculine characters with very little if almost nonexistent female roles. While this might seem to be a gender biased male movie with just this information, it is subverted in a very Deconstructionist method, in that the male characters, thriving on and being rewarded for their hyper masculine behavior, are eventually overcome and destroyed by it. Another interesting aspect of the movie is the soundtrack which is entirely orchestral and creates throughout the movie, even in unnecessary scenes, a profound sense of tension that plays into the tension of the movie's commentary on societal issues.

1 comment:

Jake Thomas said...

John, great points made about the movie. Another thing that might tie into what you are discussing is Daniel Plainview's sleeping patterns. Throughout the film, Plainview sleeps on the floor connected to his surrounds (the house he built, the oil well, his mansion).

Another point about the hyper masculine behavior comes with his interactions with Eli Sunday. Eli does not pose a serious threat to Plainview, but does question elements of Plainview's control over New Boston.