“There Will Be Blood” Reminded Me of “Apocalypse Now”

Yesterday I went to my first movie in four months–There Will Be Blood.

Note to self: sitting in a dark room in the afternoon is not a wise jet lag recovery tactic.

I don’t have much to add to the torrent of critical acclaim that the film has enjoyed. It’s an American masterpiece, brilliantly exploring two of the nation’s founding ‘isms’: capitalism and evangelism. The acting is spot-on, and Jonny Greenwood’s score is astonishing.

Was anybody else reminded of Apocalypse Now, another American masterpiece? There seem to be a lot of similarities:

  • Both films have a dreamy, ephemeral quality.
  • Both films feature the clashing of two egotists on the edge of madness. In both films, the clash is between a younger and an older man.
  • Both films have violence at their centre.
  • Both films’ characters are regularly drunk or high (on substances or religiosity).
  • Though Apocalypse Now is obviously much more of a journey, both films are concerned with travel and motion. Much of There Will Be Blood happens in trains, cars and on horseback.
  • Both films are epic in scope and duration.

Maybe that’s scant evidence. In part, I think I had a similar emotional reaction to the movies–they transported me in a similar way. What do you think?

1 comment

  1. Maybe I just didn’t get it, but I hated it. Two and a half hours I’ll never get back. I really like Daniel Day-Lewis, but I didn’t enjoy this film at all.

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