Why Phantom Thread Penta-Threads your Attention


• PTA: Paul Thomas Anderson is a suave and hyper-observant director, who apparently cares two hoots about getting plaudits from the mainstream audience. He’s the master weaver, knitting the timber tone colour graded photography with smooth editing and clearly etched characterization. The pace of the movie’s gentle and the development of characters are gradual. That’s PTA, an auteur for the classes.

• The dance of the music with costume design: Johnny Greenwood’s background score is hauntingly beautiful; it’s a waltz of music with exquisite and meticulously designed haute couture of post-Elizabethan era. The thread of the director’s brilliance weaves all the elements in. Lika e fine wine, the movie takes time to get you squiffy. The piano breathes in life to Alma’s attire, or the unprecedented fits of Reynolds Woodcock or the detailed sets of aristocratic London.

• Daniel Day-Lewis: Needless to say, words of appreciation will always fall short of his acting, rather craftsmanship prowess. His reportedly last role is indelible. The spontaneity and idiosyncrasies of an imaginary erratic couturier Woodcock that DDL brings to the camera is unbelievable. Unlike his last role in Lincoln, wherein he fits into to the shoes of a real character, crafting such a detailed realism in Reynolds Woodcock is something Gary Oldman would be proud of. Woodcock’s a highly strung obsessed celebrity designer, who leaves the educated audience mesmerized by poignant expressions of disdain, the disappointments of being a perfectionist and his frigid outlook towards life outside attires.

• Vicky Krieps: The surprise element of Phantom Thread is undoubtedly Alma. A tall and gorgeous blonde, she’s the contrast meter of the movie, helping director Anderson juxtapose the crème-de-la-crème etiquettes with rustic comportments. Alma is carefree, with unbound gaiety to express her feminism. Its Alma’s predicament of adjusting to the thoroughly regimented life imposed by Woodcock, which she so miserably fails. The bittersweet romantic symphony continues, with the backdrop of the ever-stifling ambience of Woodcock’s high-society fashion and couture, which finally culminates in a masterpiece dinner scene. The sequence of Alma venting out at Woodcock, is the pinnacle of Kreips performance in the movie.

• Story: The story is the aspect which makes Phantom Thread a movie which keeps the critics divided. The pace is one issue cited by detractors, but it’s the pace which makes the theme of making fine fabric get justified. The finest yarns are often hand-woven, not spun. Phantom Thread embellishes itself with masochism, the poisoned rose of unconventional romance, ghostly apparitions of cherished memories and social inadequacies of a brilliant and obsessive fashion designer. As realistic as the movie may be during the majority of its runtime, it climaxes into a fairytale ending where the magic mushroom of romance rescues Woodcock from getting devoured by the sinkhole of his self-imposed regimentation.

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