Paul Thomas Anderson's There will be blood maintained his word: there was blood, but a fake blood, a blood that does not redeem.
Let's be clear on one point: Daniel Day-Lewis (Daniel Plainview) is an outstanding actor, unquestionably best Hollywood's villain, and deserves the Oscar for his magnificent interpretation. The Plainview character is reminiscent of one of the best villains ever, Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting, of Scorsese's Gangs of New York. But even Day-Lewis could not do much to save an utterly confused Anderson.
Throughout the movie, Plainview is not given a soul because he doesn't have one, and this makes Day-Lewis' interpretation unnecessarily flat. Daniel Day-Lewis tries hard to fill in an empty final scene, but even him doesn't know where Anderson is heading as it becomes evident from his exaggerate limping, the back and forth movements that breaks the tension between the two characters, and the pathetic chase scene around the bowling alley.
Anderson portrays in this movie an apology of the lie: family is a lie, religion is a lie, God is a lie. Only blood and oil are real. Yet, he shamelessly draws from the Bible to put forward his truth.
- In the first scene we are presented with Plainview's fall, where he gets of the forbidden fruit, the oil: this is the only moment where Plainview is obliged to look up above his plain view.
- When death strikes one of his co-workers in a derrick construction, he feels compelled to adopt his baby: an evident new Moses left in the basket, as it becomes evident by the end of the movie when Plainview-Pharaoh doesn't want to let his adopted son go to pursue his own business in Mexico: "You're a bastard from a basket."
- The twin brothers Paul and Eli Sunday, are put before us as Jacob and Esau, as Plainview says : "You're not the chosen brother, Eli. It was Paul who was chosen" and as Eli savagely attacks his own old father for being stupid and idle, for believing a lie.
- Plainview is baptized while proclaiming a lie.
- Eli Sunday dies after confessing his lie. (I would go so far as to say that Eli is the anagram of lie).
- Plainview-Cain kills his brother Henry Bardy-Abel : but that's also a fake brother, a lie.
In conclusion, we would like to address director Anderson with Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting very own words:
"Here's the thing... I don't give a tuppenny fuck about your moral conundrum, you meat-headed shit-sack... That's pretty much the thing."