It seems increasingly likely that I really will undertake the expedition that has been occupying my imagination now for some days.
The Remains of the Day is about Stevens, a butler in a “grand old English house”. He spent his life trying to be a “great” butler in the service of Lord Darlington. With the death of Darlington he remains in Darlington Hall working for the new owner a rich American, Mr Farraday. It is at Mr. Farraday’s suggestion that Stevens, our narrator, first begins thinking about taking a short trip out into the English countryside, and to see Miss Kenton. Now Mrs. Benn she recently sent him a letter, hinting, Stevens thinks, at her unhappy marriage and her wish to return to service in Darlington Hall. On his journey Stevens reflects over his life and the changes he has seen.
It is hard to know how to describe this film. It is more of a character study than a story. Of course there is some plot, an oilman and his desire to suceed, but the story isn’t too important. What is important is the character of Daniel Plainview, as played by Oscar winning Daniel Day-Lewis.
The opening scenes show just how driven Daniel is. We watch him, working on his own, in a mine. No dialogue at all for around 15 minutes, just this man in a hole, digging, dynamiting up the earth, falling down the hole, injured and yet still having the drive to pull himself out of that hole and struggle back into town to get his bit of dirt evaluated.