But I don’t care for these flat, uninteresting characters. There’s nothing about them that inspires me. I want some depth to the people who move through the movies I watch; even the villains need to be human.
For this reason, my two favorite movie villains both appeared in great movies in the same year, 2007.
And I’ll list them now in the order that they impress me.
First is Daniel Plainview from the absolutely brilliant Paul Thomas Anderson film, THERE WILL BE BLOOD. Plainview is just an amazing character all around. Tough, self-sufficient, driven, manipulative, intelligent, physically imposing, and utterly evil. This is a villain a person can admire. He does not whine and he does not deviate from his mission.
Plainview, as portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis, is just one of the best character studies I have ever seen on the screen. We see his strengths and his weaknesses. Why Lewis chose to do what appears to be an imitation of the voice of John Huston (or Clint Eastwood’s version of John Huston), I can’t say. But it works. It was perfect.
|The best villains are the ones who are human.|
When the film is mentioned it usually is in the context of recounting the “I drink your milkshake” scene. But that is, to my way of thinking, one of the greatest scenes of both revenge and self-destruction I’ve ever witnessed in a movie.
And so, number one on my short list of movie villains is Daniel Plainview from THERE WILL BE BLOOD.
|A smile from something that is not human.|