Review: There Will Be Blood (2007)

There Will Be Blood (2007) There Will Be Blood (2007)

A collection of interpretations of P. T. Anderson‘s film.

I didn’t get this. I’m not proud to admit it, but I can’t pretend to have understood the… well, point. I mean, beyond the incredible performances (sidenote: who else wants as badly as me to see a Paul Dano / Adam Driver buddy road movie?), Robert Elswit‘s classic, Lawrence of Arabia-esque cinematography, Dylan Tichenor‘s tense, thought-provoking editing, and the visceral production design, my thought throughout was “… but, why?”

It’s possible my entire viewing experience was simply a Ron-Swanson-goes-to-meditation moment, where I saw both the parts and their sum just fine without realising it, but I’ve chosen to assume that I simply missed whatever the why was, and have sought to try to understand There Will Be Blood by collecting other people’s takes. Maybe some wisdom will float to the surface…

Now You See It locates the film’s central interest in power dynamics: who talks, who listens, who controls conversation and perception, who ultimately gets their way:

Nerdwriter takes that provocative nature of the editing as the entire point of this – and of any – film:

Wisecrack’s ‘Earthling Cinema’ interprets the characters as devils, and the oil as the “blood” of the title:

I personally find the films Tarantino makes more interesting than the films he likes. He certainly watches, and takes things from, movies differently than I can really appreciate. But his fandom of P. T. Anderson’s work may lend his take some insight: