“Hey, have you seen this movie? What did you think about THAT SCENE?!” We have all used that phrase at one point during our discussions of movies with the other person’s eyebrows raising, “Oh yea, THAT SCENE!” You go on to pick that memorable scene apart by listing what you loved or didn’t like, how it made you feel and the impression it left on you.
In this series, we will do just that. We will take a scene from a movie and discuss its impact on us. Some of these scenes may be frightening, weird, iconic, controversial, hilarious and everything in between. Let us know your impression of the scene and the impact it left on you the first time you watched it down below in the comments. Enjoy!
*Warning: May Contain Spoilers*
Movie: There Will Be Blood (2007)
Scene: I Drink Your Milkshake
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Characters: Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Eli Sunday (Paul Dano)
At the turn of the 20th century, Daniel Plainview had become an oil tycoon who was approached by a young man, Paul, with the possibility of an oil deposit on his land. Daniel eagerly checks out the prospective money maker and attempts to buy the farm at a bargain price. Paul’s twin brother, Eli, requests $10,000 for the church where he is the pastor. This sets up a contemptuous relationship between Daniel and Eli. Daniel is able to renegotiate down to $5,000. The land produces the black gold and business is a booming. Eli comes a knocking to see where his money is and Daniel beats and humiliates him.
After several unfortunate events, Daniel is in Eli’s church to repent. During his baptism, Eli takes this opportunity to physically strike and humiliate Daniel in front of the entire congregation as he forces him to confess to abandoning his impaired son. After this event, Eli goes off for missionary work and Daniel grows old, rich and alone suffering from his years of alcohol abuse. This leads us to our scene and a final confrontation between Daniel and Eli.
Daniel Day-Lewis owns every scene he appears in during this film which is pretty much the whole thing. Paul Dano plays his nemesis to equal perfection as they are two sides of the same coin. Dano is a sniveling and conniving snake looking for a fix and Daniel is ready to pounce once he sufficiently toyed around with Eli. Daniel is like a volcano waiting to erupt and when he does, you don’t want to be anywhere near him. As he feeds on Eli’s vulnerability, he ramps up the insults until he lets Eli know that there is no hope for him to get out of his current struggles.
The whole milkshake monologue delivered by almost anyone else could come off as silly or campy. However, Daniel’s graveled voice and command of the screen makes you believe exactly what he is saying and how it’s like a dagger to Eli’s heart. The intensity ramps up until Daniel finally explodes into a violent outburst that pretty much every viewer is happy about because it is Paul Dano getting wrecked. His face is one of the most punchable faces in movie history.
What did you think of this scene and the milkshake line? Do you also think Paul Dano’s face makes you want to punch it?