Producers: Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison, Joanne Sellar and Daniel Lupi
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lesley Manville and Vicky Krieps
Genre: Romance, Drama
By: Dipti Ranglani Gulabani
A sophisticated, disciplined, detail and ritual dependent couturier Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) is the only label that matters to 50s’ post war Brits – celebrities, royalties and more. The House (and life) of Woodcock is taken care of by his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) who not only handles the business and understands her petulant brother’s fuss, but also comes to his rescue every time the genius moves on from his muse in search of a new inspiration. Till he comes across Alma (Vicky Krieps), the coy and affectionate love interest, who in her tiny ways – submissive sometimes and manipulative other times, manages to stick around longer than anyone else before her.
In his final act, method maestro Day – Lewis delivers what in the best thematic way we can describe as a master piece. What’s even better is that newcomer Krieps manages to keep the attention on herself throughout the period drama, if not outshine her Academy Award nominated counterpart. Manville as the tough businesswoman, yet a tender motherly figure to the man-child that Reynolds is, strikes the perfect balance with her stoic character. Needless to say, Paul Thomas Anderson delivers an outstanding visual, delighting every detail hungry and theme thirsty viewer with his penchant for perfection. When every pause, every gaze and every unspoken moment manages to express, you know the maker and his team have succeeded in showing the audience what they intended to.
WHAT DOESN’T WORK
With every detail given a moment to shine, way too many moments line up to slowly lower your patience with every passing minute. With every character changing their intention, you wish the ultimatum would happen sooner. The dark humour and the hateful romance between the couple topped with simmering but unfilled expectations of the verbose, leaves the viewer asking for more structure, nay sanity.
It’s largely an un-culminated dark romance. Worth a watch only for the perfect portrayals.