The film “There Will Be Blood: is a movie about Daniel Plainview and his struggle to become a self-proclaimed oilman. In the film, Daniel is at war with mother earth in the fight for black gold. Throughout the movie, his ongoing battle alters his life in countless ways. It changes his family, friends and his frame of mind. In the film, there is an underlying theme of the struggle of drilling for oil. This theme alters several concepts throughout the film like plot, and the characters. I want to look at how these situations play out in the movie and their importance to the story.
We will look at how Daniel forced his will on and how the Natural world fought back. Lastly, we will discuss the impact that this had on his life. In order to grasp the concept of the war going on between man and the natural world you must know Daniel a little better. Daniel is a man who in the beginning of the film appears to be a hard-working well-rounded man. He is in pursuit of his American dream. He eventually lands a break when he finds oil in a well. After he realizes that, his talents for drilling oil will make him what he wants in life. He changes; this is the first step in a long transformation for Daniel.
He becomes overwhelmed with greed and the pursuit of money. He often comes off as abrasive. However, he appears to have a softer side. The opening scene starts with Daniel in a well. He is looking for something, he lights a stick of dynamite and climbs out. After the dynamite blows, he returns to the well. While he is climbing down the well his ladder breaks. He falls a few feet and hurts his back. This points out, there is already a battle brewing between him and mother earth. The next scene he is trying to mine oil from the same the same well he fell in.
This is important because it shows that he is not relenting to being injured. He is in pursuit of his dream to become an oilman. Nothing will stop him, not his injury, not people and not the natural world. While he is setting up his oilrig, a contraption that he designed kills a man. This does not deter Daniel from his quest; he continues to push forward with disregard for all nature and humanity. This shows that mining for oil is actually a dangerous job. Some might say that this scene symbolizes that the worse is yet to come. In addition, that it shows how consumed Daniel is by becoming richer.
Another element is clear with this scene. It is the natural world’s way of making it difficult to take the oil. You could say the natural world was fighting back. Has it taken this man’s life as to say that drilling for oil is bad for nature? Let us look at another scene and see if we cannot generate a connection. There is a scene in the movie that is so powerful it alters the story in various ways. By the time, this scene happens there are numerous concepts that have already unfolded in the plot, to show that drilling is changing Daniel. He has taken up a child sidekick H.
W. that he calls his son. He also states that he is “the face” implying that people will sympathize with a single father. However, there is a bond between Daniel and H. W. that is deeper than what is on the surface. Daniel claims to use the boy as a tool, but he cares for his so-called son. In the scene, his workers are putting the oilrig together. Daniel rushed them back to work after losing a comrade to an accident. To Daniel, no matter what happens, the show must continue.
While drilling into the ground, it erupts. Shooting first out the air and then oil. H. W. appens to be on a ledge a few feet off the ground at the rig that day. The pressure for the eruption knocks H. W. off the ledge. Daniel rushes to his aid pick the boy up and carries him to safety. In the explosion, H. W. sustains minor scrapes and scratches but he loses his hearing. The scene right after that shows Daniel looking at the rig shooting out flames and he is laughing and smiling. These few parts of the film show that Daniel has no remorse for anyone. When it comes to getting the job done and being paid. The film never states if anyone dies in the explosion.
Nevertheless, his self-proclaimed son injured himself badly, and in the next scene Daniel is smiling about how much money the rig is going to generate. This also shows that this is an attempt by the natural world to stop what is going on. The natural world is obviously trying to take a stand in that scene. The natural world launched a forceful act that injured his son. However, this does not stop the show; Daniel builds a new rig, in his pursuit to be paid. The next scene we are going to look at is one that has a more subtle battle in it. Daniel meets a man who says his name is Henry and that he is his lost brother.
During this scene, Daniel reveals that he cannot do this drilling stuff on his own and he makes his brother his partner. Immediately after this, his son H. W. tries to burn the man up. Daniel gets mad and sends the boy away. Well, eventually, Daniel finds out that the Man is not the Real Henry. The real Henry died of TB while trying to find Daniel. Some could argue that this is the natural world, yet again taking a shot at Daniel. He longed for a connection to someone who shared the same blood as him. He had latched onto H. W. at first, but once he thought he found his brother. He quickly cut ties with the child.
To find out that the man was an imposter and that his real brother had died from a disease. Nevertheless, he does not relent; he continues his quest for money and power. A few Scenes later he is running a pipeline to the ocean. The last scene I want to talk about is a scene that is an emotional scene. Daniel has gotten rich. He owns a large house, and on the surface, he appears to have everything he ever dreamed. H. W. has grown up and gotten married and he does not visit his so-called father very often. H. W. comes to visit and tells his father that he is going to start his own business drilling for oil.
This is a slap in the face to Daniel, as he raised the boy, and worked hard to have something to leave him. However, H. W. does not want anything from him. This is truly ironic, he has overcome adversity to have the one person he cared for want nothing to do with him. This is the natural world throwing a curve ball to Daniel. The son craves nature and the adventure that Daniel sought after. He wishes to look for oil and build his own rigs. To push the point, once his son marries by the laws of nature. A man named Eli that he despises is now part of his family. Eli is someone who Daniel had several encounters with over the course of the story.
They were alike in they both had something they wanted and would stop at nothing to obtain oil. Nevertheless, in Daniels eyes Eli never tried to work for his money he would only try to swindle Daniel. From the start of the film, Daniel is a man with ambition. Throughout the film, he becomes this man obsessed with greed. It consumes him to the point that once he realizes his dream he has no one. This can stand as the greatest battle between the natural world and Daniel. Daniel fights off everything that the natural world appears to throw at him only to succumb to losing his mind.
Daniel is to the point where he drinks constantly. He also seems to be out of his mind. He is no longer the charming, charismatic man he once was; he is an old belligerent drunk. We can argue that this is the end all. He is left with what he desired the money. However, now that he has the money he cannot enjoy it. Some would argue he ended up this way through his own merits. By forcing people out of his life and being a “cut throat” businessperson. Nevertheless, in the film I feel that his encounters with the natural world made him that way. Form disabling him and H. W. to him losing his brother.
The natural world played a significant role in changing his life. In conclusion, we looked at how the battle between man and the natural world is prevalent in the film “There will be blood”. We dissected some scenes that displayed this ongoing fight throughout the film. We also looked at how these scenes altered Daniels life. The film shows that drilling for oil is a dangerous task. In addition, it brings up some environmental concerns. Overall, the message is simple, if you are going to fight the natural world you need to be ready to risk it all. I feel like Daniel was and ultimately he lost.