There Will Be Blood (2007): Paul Thomas Anderson's Epic Saga of Greed, Betrayal and Obsession

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews  

there will be blood, paul thomas anderson, daniel day-lewis
There Will Be Blood (2007) By Paul Thomas Anderson
Our Rating: 9.5
IMDb Ratings: 8.1
Genre: Drama
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds
Country: USA
Language: English
Runtime: 158 min
Color: Color

There Will Be Blood is a 2007 Oscar-winning movie directed by American filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. There Will Be Blood is Paul Thomas Anderson's tribute to John Huston's epic masterpiece, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948), which according to Anderson is a repository of all of life's questions and answers. During the shooting of There Will Be Blood, every night before going to bed Anderson used to put on The Treasure of the Sierra Madre to derive inspiration for his movie. Cinema has been a witness to a plethora of phenomenal performers who over the years have entranced billions of viewers worldwide with their guile, grandeur, subtlety, eloquence and poise, but I dare say very few of those performers could match Daniel Day-Lewis' tour de force in There Will Be Blood, whether in terms of ruthlessness, panache, eloquence, or cheek. Being the chameleon that he is, Lewis musters up all his prodigious talent to conjure up his misanthropic alter ego, Daniel Plainview whose perpetually smirked face, bolstered by his malice filled eyes, makes him one of the strongest and the most fascinating characters ever caricatured on the celluloid. Daniel Day-Lewis is at the top of his game and virtually unstoppable as Daniel Plainview, a portrayal that not only resuscitated him as an actor, but also established him as one of the greatest actors of our time. In There Will Be Blood, Lewis doesn't leave a single stone unturned in order to bring his character to life, and perhaps that's what helps him bag his second Best Actor Oscar.

Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood
Paul Dano in There Will Be Blood
There Will Be Blood also features a memorable performance from Paul Dano who is absolutely brilliant as Eli Sunday. Paul Dano compliments Daniel Day-Lewis in every sense of the word in spite of the fact that he barely had a week to prepare for his part contrary to Daniel Day-Lewis who had a whole year to prepare for his. Eli Sunday is ambitious, enigmatic, placid, pesky and pusillanimous, and despite being highly contrasting to Daniel Plainview he incredibly has many similarities to him, especially the uncanny demeanor that helps them both to inveigle others. It is the awe-inspiring chemistry and the ever growing tension between them that makes the There Will Be Blood truly haunting and spectacular. 

Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview
Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview
There Will Be Blood is a morbid tale of greed, betrayal and obsession adorned by some great performances, visually stunning cinematography, and masterful direction with great attention to detail. Plainview owns a mine with potential silver deposits and his assiduity finally pays off when he discovers a silver ore. He sells it to acquire a crew to help him with the subsequent diggings in the mine. After the mine runs out of silver, oil is discovered in it and hence begins Plainview's journey of insatiable greed and morbid obsession. Plainview, in order to build a facade of a family-oriented man in order to easily gain people's trust, adopts an infant following the death of his fathera subordinate at the rig—during a drilling accident. 

A Still from There Will Be Blood
A Still from There Will Be Blood
Some years later, a young man named Paul Sunday (also played by Paul Dano) visits Plainview's camp and offers to sell information about his family's ranch, which he claims to have an ocean of oil underneath it. Plainview and H.W. travel to the Sunday Ranch pretending to be on quail hunting while hiding their ulterior motive of verifying Paul's claim. Being as perspicacious as he is, it doesn't take him long to find the vestiges of oil in the cracks formed due to the recent earthquake. He tries to convince the Sunday patriarch to sell him the land at a moderate price (which he calls quail price and not oil price), but is stymied by owner's ambitious son, Eli Sunday, who asks him to pay an additional ten thousand dollars towards the building of the Church of Third Revelation. Plainview reluctantly pays him five thousand dollars as advance and promises to pay the remaining amount once the drilling starts. 

Eli Sunday Baptizes Daniel Plainview, There Will Be Blood, daniel day-lewis
A Still from There Will Be Blood
Plainview assembles his crew at the Sunday Ranch and builds the first derrick. He also buys almost all of the land surrounding the Sunday Ranch so he will have not only those drilling rights but also the right to build a pipeline to the ocean to circumvent the railroads and their shipping costs. Eli wants to bless the derrick before drilling begins but Plainview rebuffs him. Using the money given by Plainview, Eli builds his church projecting himself as a preacher, faith healer and prophet. Soon the church has many followers, most of whom are Plainview's workers. Eli's increasing influence on the people and his display of false divinity starts pestering Plainview, who is further flummoxed by congregation's frequent gatherings (the daily prayers prevented the workers from taking desired rest, thereby decreasing their efficiency). Plainview beseeches Eli to make them less frequent, but Eli dismisses him with disdain. Plainview's ruthless ego is jolted by Eli's stubbornness, and he brutally assaults the latter. Eli soon gets his revenge when a person named Bandy coaxes Plainview to get baptized at the Church of the Third Revelation. While baptizing him, Eli humiliates him by repeatedly slapping him and calling him a sinner. This incident further intensifies the hatred in Plainview and sets the tone for a deeply haunting finale when they would meet again many years later. 

there will be blood, daniel day-lewis
A Still from There Will Be Blood 
With There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Andersonwhose previous projects includes Magnolia, Boogie Nights and Punch-Drunk Loveyet again proves his mettle as a director and more importantly as a passionate lover of cinema. He manages to pack a punch with this poignant and a deeply disturbing masterpiece. There Will Be Blood incredibly succeeds on every level and entertains immensely, while still delivering a strong message. It was undoubtedly the best picture of 2007 and one of the best of the decade. Sadly, the Academy once again lived up to its long earned notoriety by preferring a relatively lesser, No Country for Old Men (2007) over this truly haunting masterpiece for the topmost honor: Best Motion Picture of the Year.

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!  

For more information on the title, please click on the following links:

There Will Be Blood Trailer

People who liked this also liked...
Share on Google Plus


  1. Great Movie... Great Performances!!!

  2. This movie knocked me out of my senses. Daniel Day-Lewis has delivered best individual performance I have ever seen in this - that last scene just kills me and Paul Deno is equally brilliant and we wasn't even nominated. But I usually do not complain over NCFOM winning over this as even though I like this more, No Country is just equally brilliant.

    Eagerly waiting for The Master this year.

    1. Thanks a lot, Shantanu, for sharing your opinion. I too believe that Daniel Day-Lewis was stupendous in his tour de force portrayal of Daniel Plainview. And the last scene is indeed as chilling as its brilliant. P. T Anderson's direction is mesmerizing and his attention to detail is incredible to say the least. As fat as No Country for Old Man is concerned, I too don't deny its power, but sometimes I just feel that There Will Be Blood was unjustly overshadowed by the hype the former created (even though it was quite justifiable), as is the case every year with some deserving movie or the other. Hugo suffered a similar fate this year.

      Btw, I also eagerly await the return of Paul Anderson as well as Joaquin Phoenix in 'The Master'.

  3. Sure shot masterpiece & one of the very few films which has changed my perception on film acting and this single film has already put anderson in the league of the great directors from the states, mesmerising film...............

  4. Well, I couldn't have agreed more... it's an absolute masterpiece... Paul Thomas Anderson is undoubtedly one of the best directors (who are into active filmmaking)... he is the worthy successor to the legacy of great American filmmakers, specifically Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick.

  5. Absolutely.........

  6. You also made very good point here of the academy choosing no country ahead of there will be blood, although i am a huge fan of the coen brothers but i also think the academy has gone wrong i personally liked no country for old men but TWBB is a masterpiece and is already one the all time great films made but never mind for a great fim awards r nothing to be meant and oscars r not only the last thing in the world...............

  7. You are absolutely right... Oscars are all about being politically correct!!!


Thanks for sharing for valuable opinion. We would be delighted to have you back.