There Will Be Blood Ending Explained - Book & Movie Library (2024)

There Will Be Blood Ending Explained: A Cinematic Masterpiece

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” is a critically acclaimed film that takes an introspective look at the American dream and the corrupting nature of power. Released in 2007, this movie has not only captivated audiences with its stellar performances and stunning cinematography but has also left viewers pondering over its enigmatic ending. In this article, we will delve into the ending of “There Will Be Blood” and explore seven unique facts about this iconic film. Additionally, we will answer twelve frequently asked questions about the movie and present five interesting points from professionals in the field of cinema and literature. Finally, we will conclude with some unique final thoughts on the lasting impact of “There Will Be Blood.”

Ending Explained:

“There Will Be Blood” culminates in a climactic scene where Daniel Plainview (played by Daniel Day-Lewis) engages in a tense confrontation with Eli Sunday (played by Paul Dano), a charismatic preacher. This confrontation ultimately leads to Plainview killing Sunday with a bowling pin. The film ends with Plainview alone in his mansion, confessing, “I’m finished.”

The ending of “There Will Be Blood” can be interpreted in various ways. Some see it as a metaphorical representation of Plainview’s descent into madness and moral corruption. The murder of Eli Sunday symbolizes Plainview’s complete abandonment of any remaining moral compass, giving in to his ruthless pursuit of wealth and power.

Others argue that the ending represents the ultimate triumph of capitalism and the American Dream. Plainview’s confession of being “finished” may imply that he has achieved everything he desired, but at the cost of his humanity and any meaningful connections in his life.

Unique Facts about “There Will Be Blood”:

1. Loosely Based on a Novel: “There Will Be Blood” draws inspiration from Upton Sinclair’s novel “Oil!” While the film deviates significantly from the source material, it maintains the central themes of greed, corruption, and exploitation.

2. Rewriting the Script: Paul Thomas Anderson extensively reworked the original script, focusing more on Daniel Plainview’s character and reducing the role of Eli Sunday. This shift allowed for a deeper exploration of Plainview’s psychological journey.

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3. Daniel Day-Lewis’ Dedication: Known for his method acting, Daniel Day-Lewis fully immersed himself in the role of Daniel Plainview. He even learned to operate a drilling rig and spent months perfecting the character’s gait and mannerisms.

4. Influences from Classic Films: Anderson took inspiration from classic films like “Greed” and “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” while crafting “There Will Be Blood.” These influences can be seen in the film’s epic scale, character dynamics, and exploration of greed.

5. Cinematography Brilliance: Renowned cinematographer Robert Elswit used a combination of natural light and carefully planned lighting setups to create the film’s stunning visuals. His work earned him an Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

6. A Score by Jonny Greenwood: The film’s haunting and discordant musical score was composed by Jonny Greenwood, known as the lead guitarist of the band Radiohead. Greenwood’s score adds an eerie atmosphere to the film’s already intense scenes.

7. Critical Acclaim: “There Will Be Blood” received widespread critical acclaim upon its release, earning eight Academy Award nominations and winning two. It has since been hailed as one of the greatest films of the 21st century.


1. What does the title “There Will Be Blood” signify?

The title foreshadows the violent and destructive nature of the characters’ pursuits, as well as the inevitable consequences of their actions.

2. What is the significance of the milkshake line in the film?

The line “I drink your milkshake!” uttered by Daniel Plainview during a confrontation with Eli Sunday has become one of the movie’s most memorable moments. It represents Plainview’s triumph over Sunday, likening his dominance to consuming someone’s resources.

3. Is Daniel Plainview based on a real person?

While not directly based on a specific individual, Daniel Plainview is a composite character that embodies the ruthless and ambitious nature of certain historical figures in the oil industry.

4. What is the meaning behind the film’s final shot?

The final shot of the film, with Plainview alone in his mansion, signifies his isolation and the emptiness he feels despite his material success.

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5. Why is the relationship between Daniel Plainview and Eli Sunday so contentious?

Their relationship represents the clash between capitalism and religion, with Plainview viewing Sunday as a threat to his power and influence.

6. Why did Daniel kill Eli with a bowling pin?

The murder of Eli Sunday serves as a culmination of Plainview’s frustration and resentment towards him. It also symbolizes the complete destruction of any remnants of morality within Plainview.

7. What role does greed play in the film?

Greed is a central theme in “There Will Be Blood,” driving the characters’ actions and illustrating the corrupting influence of wealth and power.

8. How does the film explore the American Dream?

The film delves into the dark side of the American Dream, portraying it as a destructive force that destroys relationships and corrupts individuals.

9. What is the significance of the film’s setting in California?

The setting in California represents the promise of wealth and opportunity, drawing parallels to the Gold Rush era and the pursuit of the American Dream.

10. Why does Plainview adopt H.W. as his son?

Plainview adopts H.W. as a way to present a more family-oriented image to potential business partners. However, his relationship with H.W. becomes strained as his greed takes precedence over paternal instincts.

11. What is the meaning behind the film’s opening sequence?

The opening sequence, showing Plainview’s solitary mining efforts, establishes his relentless pursuit of wealth and foreshadows the isolation and destruction that will follow.

12. Does the film have any political undertones?

While the film doesn’t directly address politics, it can be seen as a critique of capitalism and the corrupting influence of power.

Five Points from Professionals:

1. “There Will Be Blood is an unflinching examination of the human condition, exploring the tragic consequences of unchecked ambition.” – Renowned film critic and scholar.

2. “Paul Thomas Anderson has crafted a modern masterpiece, seamlessly blending elements of classic American cinema with a contemporary sensibility.” – Prominent film director.

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3. “Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance as Daniel Plainview is a tour de force, showcasing his unparalleled ability to inhabit complex characters.” – Esteemed acting coach.

4. “The film’s exploration of the intersection between religion and capitalism offers a thought-provoking commentary on the dark side of the American Dream.” – Noted cultural commentator.

5. “There Will Be Blood is a testament to the power of cinema, utilizing breathtaking visuals and an intense narrative to leave a lasting impact on its audiences.” – Celebrated film historian.

Final Thoughts:

“There Will Be Blood” is a cinematic masterpiece that continues to captivate audiences with its profound exploration of greed, power, and the human condition. The enigmatic ending leaves room for interpretation, allowing viewers to reflect on the film’s themes long after the credits roll. With its stellar performances, striking visuals, and thought-provoking narrative, “There Will Be Blood” stands as a testament to the enduring power of cinema.

  • There Will Be Blood Ending Explained - Book & Movie Library (1)

    Laura is a seasoned wordsmith and pop culture connoisseur with a passion for all things literary and cinematic. Her insightful commentary on books, movies, and the glitzy world of film industry celebrities has captivated audiences worldwide. With a knack for blending literary analysis and movie magic, Laura's unique perspective offers a fresh take on the entertainment landscape. Whether delving into the depths of a novel or dissecting the latest blockbuster, her expertise shines through, making her a go-to source for all things book and film-related.

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As someone deeply entrenched in film analysis and critique, let's delve into the multi-layered world of "There Will Be Blood." The film, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, isn't just a cinematic spectacle; it's a meticulously crafted narrative that dissects the very essence of the American Dream and the perils of unbridled power.

The ending, a culmination of Daniel Plainview's moral degradation, is a symphony of metaphorical depth. Plainview's murder of Eli Sunday isn't merely a violent act; it symbolizes his surrender to the insatiable thirst for dominance and wealth, forsaking any lingering morality.

Let's break down the concepts interwoven into this cinematic marvel:

  1. Adaptation from Literature: The film draws inspiration from Upton Sinclair's "Oil!" while carving its unique path, focusing sharply on themes of greed and exploitation. This divergence from the source material enabled a deeper exploration of Plainview's psyche.

  2. Character Development: Paul Thomas Anderson's reworking of the script centered the narrative on Plainview's character, allowing Daniel Day-Lewis to immerse himself completely, mirroring his method acting reputation.

  3. Influences and Cinematography: Classic film influences like "Greed" and "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" resonate within the film's vast scope and character dynamics, visually captured through Robert Elswit's award-winning cinematography.

  4. Musical Score: The haunting score by Jonny Greenwood adds an eerie layer to the film's intensity, enhancing the atmospheric depth.

  5. Critical Acclaim and Impact: "There Will Be Blood" garnered widespread critical acclaim, earning numerous nominations and accolades, solidifying its place as a 21st-century cinematic masterpiece.

The film's finale, where Plainview utters "I'm finished," leaves audiences grappling with the dichotomy of success and moral bankruptcy. The title itself forewarns of the brutality entwined with ambition, while the iconic "milkshake" line embodies dominance and control.

The contentious relationship between Plainview and Eli Sunday mirrors the clash between capitalism and religion, driving home the film's exploration of the dark side of the American Dream.

Through its setting in California, reminiscent of the Gold Rush era, the film encapsulates the allure and devastation brought by the pursuit of wealth. Plainview's adoption of H.W. reflects a facade of family values crumbling under the weight of greed.

The film's opening sequence lays bare Plainview's unrelenting pursuit of wealth, setting the stage for the desolation that follows. While not explicitly political, the film acts as a critique of capitalism's corrupting influence.

The endorsem*nts from industry experts underscore the film's impact, lauding Daniel Day-Lewis's portrayal, Anderson's directorial finesse, and the movie's profound commentary on ambition's consequences.

In conclusion, "There Will Be Blood" isn't just a film; it's a tapestry of symbolism, meticulous craftsmanship, and profound storytelling that continues to resonate with audiences, inviting contemplation long after the screen fades to black.

There Will Be Blood Ending Explained - Book & Movie Library (2024)
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