What has become of the American entrepreneur?
There are many reasons why we're drawn to tales of industrialists, inventors and entrepreneurs. For starters, their influence is almost inescapable. Tales about them are vis-a-vis tales about us and the world in which we live. If we don't see theirs as stories about what we are, then surely they're stories about what we'd like to be, that ever elusive American dream that we want to achieve, and their eventual corruption and fall from grace (common in movies, not in reality) gives our schadenfreude a nice shot of adrenaline. Films like Citizen Kane and There Will Be Blood play out an examination of a complex relationship between the psychology of an individual and the sociology of the world that loves and hates them, and at times we see ourselves as both.
|Downhill from here.|
Success. Betrayal. Abandonment.
"I will provide the people of this city with a daily paper that will tell all the news honestly. I will also provide them with a fighting and tireless champion of their rights as citizens and as human beings."
The capacity to kill
Now we come to the real major split in the paths of Kane and Plainview. Kane's violent attack is directed toward his house, his possessions, his makeshift prison. His relent comes with the sad admission that he cannot attain the love that he's always wanted. He's failed and he knows it. Plainview's outburst however is not directed so inwardly. He rages against his competition for power. Plainview succeeds. We don't know what comes after the credits roll, but it's almost impossible to read his statement of "I'm finished!" as a concession of regret or submission. In fact it might be a declaration of his own perceived victory.
|Baptism didn't help.|