There are very few examples of movies that are better at showing than they are telling and this one may be the best. It takes a special kind of film fan to sit through about 20 minutes of a beginning with a man mining for silver. In that 20 minutes though, we learn plenty about the man. We learn he cares more about his silver than he does his leg. We learn he has no problem working alone in the middle of nowhere with dangerous explosives, and that he most likely prefers it that way (wouldn't we all?). We learn he's got tremendous intestinal fortitude along with a great amount of ingenuity. If he says he's an oil man, you'd have to agree.
The film also takes up a 2010-like extreme religious rhetoric discussion by having a probable atheist (though he "likes them all") taking the life of a "believer" who puts on "one hell of a show" at his church. I'd wager most people of faith don't relate to Eli in the same way most atheists don't relate to
. This film begs for me to start discussing religion as superstition but I can't do it. No one wants a Daily Deuce filled with religious rhetoric, because it's usually vice versa. In the history of life, I'd say anyone who thinks they have a great idea of how religion should be, or preaches theirs to be better, atheists included, ends up looking like a douchebag. I can feel my doucheometer fill up with those past few sentences alone. Plainview
Perhaps the only poor part of the film is the whole long lost brother thing. There's no way Daniel lets his guard down at all. He wouldn't even do it for his son. Nothing would ever get in between him and an ocean of oil under his feet. Every time I watch this movie now, I always fall asleep as soon as Daniel and Henry go swimming and Henry confesses. It's so dark outside at this point in the film. It's impossible not to.
In terms of the ending, aside from the whole drinking the milkshake thing, the conversation between Daniel and the bastard from a basket has some of the best lines. I also love how painful it must be to be that interpreter. Imagine being in the middle of some serious dysfunctional familitis between a drunk bastard and a deaf bastard and having to interpret the exact moment the drunk tells the child that he's not his son. As interpreter, do you sugar coat it a little bit? Some horrible stuff was said, and you obviously have to relay the main point, but do you modify the verse to ease your own comfort? There should have been more to the story here, or perhaps a spinoff called The Interpreter and this guy goes around signing for deaf people but all the conversations are really awkward which leads to him developing an alcohol problem. Boom