Blood, I tell you! Bloooood! Some spoilerish thoughts below.
First of all, I don’t give a damn about “spoilers.” You can “spoil” a movie for me and I’ll still love it. Of course, I am sort of sad that the Lost Season 3 finale was “spoiled” for me. Slightly sad. Not very sad.
Back to There Will Be Blood. Daniel Plainview is, I assume, supposed to be a man deranged by greed and a deep hatred of others. All the same, I found myself sympathizing with him at almost every turn, including when he beats the simpering preacherman to death. And also when he murders the man who posed as his brother. This clearly reflects very poorly on me.
Actually, as I read George F. Will on Iowa’s histrionic hucksters, I imagined Will as Plainview, beating a squealing Mike Huckabee to death with his bowling ball. Not really. For one thing, baseball is Will’s sport of choice. But man, Will was peeved. There’s no getting around that.
There were many loose threads in There Will Be Blood. Plainview has genuine affection for H.W., but he nevertheless does great violence to him, emotionally, at the tail end of the movie and, presumably, throughout his life. He has genuine affection for the girl H.W. goes on to marry, and one gets the sense he finds violence against children abhorrent, possibly a reflection of his own difficult upbringing. When Eli makes demands, Plainview takes great delight in tweaking him, in celebrating a daughter rather than a song of the hills of Little Boston. I thought, “How cool.”
Plainview is so profoundly hateful that he never seems to take a wife, or to allow any kind of intimacy other than fatherly affection. He doesn’t appear to indulge even in the brief brothel scene.
What gives? We’ll never know.