Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood

My Favorite Scene: There Will Be Blood (2007) “I Drink Your Milkshake!”

To be clear, I think, as a whole, There Will Be Blood is an extremely dull movie.  I don’t like Paul Thomas Anderson.  I think he’s self-indulgent and I’m not the kind of cinephile that can try to find deep meaning in five minutes of just watching someone walk around land staring at it.  Looking for oil.  Got it.  Let’s get to the next time Daniel Day-Lewis is onscreen.  Just when you though Gangs of New York’s Bill the Butcher couldn’t be topped for scene chewing lunacy, Day-Lewis gives us Daniel Plainview: an oilman, alcoholic, and amateur bowler.

Whether you like or hate There Will Be Blood the thing everyone took away from it was the final scene, in which Plainview explains to Paul Dano’s character how he’s completely stolen any oil that might have been on his church’s land using possibly the best metaphor in movie history: the milkshake monologue.  Then he beats him to death with a bowling pin, but that’s less funny.  The milkshake speech itself isn’t even that funny the first time because of the spell Day-Lewis casts over viewers, but upon subsequent viewings, became a 2007-2008 cultural phenomenon.  I did the milkshake speech until my wife threatened to beat me to death with a bowling pin.  Fortunately, there were already people online working on making weird remixes of the scene (some of the best set to the hip hop song “Milkshake”), and I’ve included just one to remind you that great scenes can come out of dull movies and take on a weird milkshakey life of their own.

There Will Be Blood's Bowling Alley

7 thoughts on “My Favorite Scene: There Will Be Blood (2007) “I Drink Your Milkshake!””

  1. Lately I’ve had corny little songs like “Do the Hokey Pokey” from my childhood suddenly come to mind. When I start singing them, my husband wants to bring out the bowling pin on me….isn’t love great!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This movie is dead at its core. but has so much going for it. Paradoxical, true. The thing I love is that it’s so bafflingly unpredictable. In bad ways as well as good. Midway through I thought I had never seen a film with such deep and subtle character development. Then, suddenly, Plainview was shooting objects inside his house, and driving away his kid in the most vile way possible, and I wondered if any character development had happened at all.

    I swear I had no idea what was going to happen from moment to moment, and it’s safe to say that no one expected Plainview to beat the guy to death with the bowling pin. It’s rare for a film to be so surprising that you can’t guess its twists and turns. I get that the suits want to sell movies using the familiar. It’s the smart way to sell movies. Hire the popular stars, make movies with premises that have worked before. But why does that mindset extend to the actual plots? Once you have an enthused audience in the theater, what harm could there be in taking them on a journey full of surprises? Unpredictability keeps people hooked, and good twists actually generate word of mouth. We all know this for a fact.

    Liked by 1 person

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