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There Will Be Blood – The 2007 Epic Period Drama Film Sheds Light on American Capitalism and Greed

Today, oil and gas is a multi-billion dollar industry, highly regulated to prevent excessive oil drilling. Excessive oil drilling has become a significant concern as it disrupts wildlife habitats, pollutes communities, and releases dangerous emissions that contribute to climate change. But what happened back in the days when there was little to no regulation and the oil and industry was the Wild West? HPG Networks recently released an article on the 2007 film “There Will Be Blood,” which takes viewers on a journey to the 1900s, a time when the industry was rife with violence without any consequences for excessive oil drilling. 

Based on the acclaimed  1927 novel Oil! by Upton Sinclair, “There Will Be Blood” is an American epic period drama film set in the late 19th and early 20th centuries during Southern California’s oil boom when oil drilling was a new pursuit. Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the epic film follows the life of the protagonist Daniel Plainview, depicted by Daniel Day-Lewis, who was a silver miner at the start of his career. His ruthless pursuit of wealth and success shot him to prominence from an independent miner and oil rig operator to the leader of his own oil business.

However, the top is lonely, and many would see him fail. In a true Wild West oil tycoon fashion, protagonist Daniel Plainview never faltered in the face of competition. Instead, he would do anything to expand his oil mining business, resorting to violence, alcohol and highly unsettling coping mechanism. Untouched by federal regulation or moderation, the oil magnate spiraled into madness fueled by greed and rage with a single-minded goal to capitalize on opportunities by strangling out the competition and becoming the sole beneficiary of vast amounts of untapped natural resources.

The 2007 film gained massive acclaim for its direction, screenplay, score, and performance of its cast, including Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds, Kevin J. O’Connor, and Dillon Freasier. Fans and critics praised the film as one of 21st century greatest films, and it was nominated for eight Oscars at the 80th Academy Awards. On top of that, the leading character Daniel Day-Lewis won BAFTA, Golden Globe, NYFCC and IFTA, the Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild and Best Leading Actor awards for his outstanding performance. 

Claiming its spot as a top fan favorite, the film has a rating of over 91%, with an average rating of 8.5/10 on the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. A review on the website reads, “Widely touted as a masterpiece, this sprawling film about the ‘heroes’ of capitalism boasts incredible performances by leads Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano, is director Paul Thomas Anderson’s best work to date.”

With 360 degrees of insight into American capitalism and how unfettered greed can corrupt a man,  “There Will Be Blood” is undoubtedly one of the greatest films ever made. Furthermore, viewers can watch it, learn essential life lessons and use it as an example to help society avoid the same behavior in their personal pursuits for success.

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