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There Will Be Blood

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How so? Leave out the ending that shows that he's crazy and his destructive drinking, what I'm concentrating on is when he's building his oil business from almost nothing-- how's that part "anti-capitalist"?

Well, that's exactly the point. Just because you have a movie where someone builds a business from scratch doesn't mean it's inherently pro-capitalist. The thing you have to look at is what the overall theme and depiction. What does the director/screenwriter select to show you about that event? What do they think the important consequences of the event are?

The fact that he is a drunk, and that he goes crazy are relevant. So is the fact that he murders a man, defrauds the landownders from who he obtained rights to drill, is willing to lie to get whatever he needs from other people. In addition, the depiction of the treatment of workers (as per the various injuries that happen in the operation, and the fact that his son's injury is pivotal to the plot) is classic Sinclair.

In addition take the more subtle forms of characterization. Plainview switches manner and tone when speaking to his colleagues, and other people in general. He shifts it to this sickly sweet, tone, making him appear duplicitous. The man drinks throughout the film! He's shown several times using alcohol to medicate his son. The entire speech about "I have a competition in me" is incredibly anti-capitalist. It is the straw-man that an anti-capitalist would use to show us that capitalism is in itself wrong and leads to destructive outcomes. And the music throughout the movie is downright sinister.

How would you suggest that Plainview is protrayed in anyway like Howard Roark, where his successes are glorified and lead to good outcomes.

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Politics aside, I did not understand why this movie was so critically acclaimed. Daniel Day Lewis gave a superb performance and he deserved that Oscar. Aside from that, the movie was incredibly boring. I kept waiting for something to happen, and it never did.

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  • 1 year later...

*** Mod's note: Merged with an earlier topic. sN ***

I was misled by my former husband and trusted film confidant. He told me he walked out of the theater in the middle of There Will Be Blood because it was philosophically irritating. I finally, finally got around to seeing it last night. I'm angry that I'm so late to this party!


I roared with laughter throughout this movie. From the Objectivist perspective - it is pure gold. If you haven't seen it - rent it - no - BUY it today.

I want desperately to discuss this film and IMDB is filled to the brim with nitwits. Any fellow film buffs here want to talk through it with me?

Edited by softwareNerd
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SPOILER post, scroll to read (It's white):

Seems to me Daniel Plainview did have aspirations for family. He immediately trusted the brother by another mother, and by feeding the baby H. W. Plainview alcohol in the bottle he was instilling his alcoholism in a form of forcible heredity, to have something in common with him. Plainview failed miserably in family, having no knack for it in spite of his desire, and no real family in existence. H.W.'s deafness did not hinder Plainview's love for the boy, but it was the boy's hatred of him that ended the bond. Why did H.W. set the house on fire, a trail leading directly under his bed? H.W. hated him into adulthood and chose MEXICO (hint hint) to start a competing business. H. W. starts the conversation with a LIE "I love you" and Plainview knew it. The previous scene between Eli Sunday and Plainview established that he absolutely preferred plain speak, and he addressed the congregation and townsfolk with "plain speak". H.W. therefore was no different from every other useless individual that Plainview had wished to escape from.

Plainview did have a knack for the oil business. He succeeded, and brought success with him. Everyone's livelihood did improve. The rivalry between Eli and Paul Sunday- the twin brothers, was the unspoken Objectivist story in this movie. Paul left his family with the money he earned from Plainview and invested in his own business which was successful, while Eli asked for handouts and strongarmed Plainview for more and more money. The most satisfying scene was when Plainview slapped Eli around! It's like the film did the thing that perhaps we secretly wish to do but shake our heads and feel guilt... It felt SO GOOD to see that little twerp getting slapped to the ground my goodness LOL. My hopes for Eli's character at that point was for him to stand up and become a man, and make something of himself. Instead, he goes and beats up his old dad. (BTW - Eli must have been beating up the little girl too for not praying enough.) PAUL in his only scene in the movie made a point of asking Plainview if he was a church man - the reason why he asked this was because Plainviews answer would indicate to him how much he should trust him. Plainview admits to belonging to no church, and Paul goes ahead and tells him about the oil and makes a deal. Paul's price was reasonable, while Eli's hand was deep in the cookie jar - 10k for the church above and beyond the 6 dollars per acre. Plainview instead gave the 10k to Paul, and slapped the hell out of Eli! Haha. Now that's what Ayn Rand meant when she said that altruism is evil, but charity should be given to the gifted.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I just watched this movie. It definately has an indie feel to it. They music was awful (highly dissonant). There is no proper integration between visual and audio. You're watching the movie and then all of a sudden this bizzare and distracting music starts playing and doesn't stop.

Some points:

This is a naturalistic movie

There are no heroic characters

The lead character is not an Objectivist and really doesn't have and "Objectivist traits"

This movie is not funny and you will likely not roar "with laughter throughout this movie"

The movie is little long

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Guest Erik Martinsen

I love the bonus material on the DVD. It includes a great 15 minute montage of around 100 photos from the oil industry in the period There Will Be Blood is set in.

Edited by Erik Martinsen
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