At times it gets hard to watch but hang in there it'll be worth it. A brilliant story captured by brilliant cinematography. Watch as Paul Thomas Anderson sets Lewis on a campaign of self-destruction among characters with which he contrasts a lot, except for one.
While I adore PTA's work and there is much that is of merit in this film, at times, it resorts to didacticism in dehumanising Dano and Day Lewis' characters. Nonetheless, this is an acerbic tale with a thematic echo to 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre' in its representation of greed, and an equivalent gold: oil. An intriguing take on fundamentalism prevalent in certain sub-denominations of Christian expression.
As an epic, there will be blood is dripping with innovative ideas but as a character study, it's imperfect. We learn so much about who Daniel Plainview is, from his initial hatred of humanity to his final descent into loner hell, but virtually nothing about why. His motivations are left blank. We never get to see the humanity in Daniel Plainview or lack of humanity in him. But when the film works, it really works.
What shocked me during this viewing is that I realized how truly absurd the ending is. This isn't a film about Daniel and Eli – it's about Daniel and his son. While the true coda and emotional core of the film is the "bastard in a basket" scene, a random flashforward that demonstrates Daniel losing his final shred of humanity, the fact that we're left off with a Loony Tunes afterword is delightful and disturbing.