By tully | "Boredom at Its Boredest" by Michael Tully December 13, 2007 at 7:46AM
***KINDA SORTA SPOILER ALERT: WHILE THIS DOESN'T GET OVERTLY EXPLICIT, I WOULD STILL ABSTAIN FROM READING IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE FILM***
Before I head to Greenpoint to watch edited footage of Mary Bronstein's YEAST for the very first time (I think that's still a tentative title, but I really want it to stick!), I thought I would publish her reaction to THERE WILL BE BLOOD.
I think this opinion is incredibly valid and deserves to be posted for the world to read. While my memory of the film has helped to soften the initial blow I felt while watching the last chapter, reading Mary's take reminded me that it might very well be okay to stick with my first-time opinion. She says things that I felt but am too stupid to express with my own puny brain. Thank you, Mary.
One important final note! For the record, Mary didn't write this with the intention of getting it published, but I did get her blessing to do just that, so here it goes:
re: Blood...I think I have processed all my thoughts. My thoughts regarding the ending are this: I do not think, as Karina suggested, that PTA intended for this scene to be funny, or for us to be laughing at or with this character all along (besides of course the sparse moments of humor thrown in). From what he was saying in his Q&A, he did not see humor in this story. This was a serious and tragic story that he was very emotionally involved in, as was DDL. DDL certainly did not seem to be saying he was playing the character as someone to be laughed at. AND if you laughed at this character he would surely find a way to kill you. That being said, I think that the weird turn at the end was an accident. A mistake. In other words, it wasn't supposed to, but it came out bad. I am tired of no one ever wanting to admit that something can just come out bad. PTA is not perfect. Just because something is weird doesn't mean there is something to "get," that it was meaningful in and of itself. He tried something with the end and it was a disaster. The main problem for me was, we didn't get to know the son at all, we didn't see him grow up, we don't know what he's like as an adult, and so...why should I be invested in his father going crazy on him? Sure, it resonates simply because the things he says are awful, but it is a mistake to throw in a completely different actor than we have been used to seeing and expecting us to connect. Certainly, if he had a similar confrontation with a younger aged son, we would be more in it. And then there is the problem with the acting. Sorry, people might stone me to death for this, but, DDL didn't pull off old and didn't pull off crazy. Just didn't. It didn't work. He tried, though. The rest of his performance was almost flawless, though. So...what we have here is a fabulous movie, an AWESOME movie that took a misstep at the end. And no one who considers themselves a cinemaniac will ever admit it! ARGH. I believe that what we were MEANT to get out of the ending is that the entire movie has been a character study about a man going crazy due to his incredible appetite for ambition, riches and power, not to mention personal shame about his son. So, he ends up alone in a giant empty house old and crazy. What was it all for? What good did it do him? INSTEAD we end up with later era Pacino pretending to be an old man talking about giant milkshake straws!!!!! That's my two cents. I am pretty sure no one agrees with me. I'd like to poll all the people riotously laughing in the theater.