I had a vision. Yes, last night, I had a vision. And I felt God’s breath go through me, and it moved down into my stomach, and sloshed around, and my stomach spoke in a whisper, not a shout: “Touch this woman with your hands, and caress her.” My dear, Mrs. Hunter. You have arthritis, don’t you? … Yes, the Devil is in your hands, and I suck it out. Now, I will not cast this ghost out with a fever, for the new spirit inside me has shown me I have a new way to communicate. It is a gentle whisper. Get out of here, ghost. Get out of here, ghost. Get out. Get out of here, ghost. Get out of here, ghost. Get out of here, ghost. Get out of here, and don’t you dare turn around and come back, for if you do, all the armies of my boot will kick you in the teeth, and you will be cast up, and thrown in the dirt, and thrust back to perdition! And as long as I have teeth, I will bite you! And if I have no teeth, I will gum you! And as long as I have fists, I will bash you! Now, get out of here ghost! Get out of here, ghost! Get out of here, ghost!
– Eli, There Will Be Blood
There are so many incredible subversive lines in There Will Be Blood, each spoken so naturally that you’re almost sure you misheard. Not just the “all the armies” part in the quote above, but also: “it moved down into my stomach, and sloshed around. And my stomach spoke in a whisper, not a shout.”
Or when Daniel’s “brother” shows up and introduces himself, “I’m your brother… from another mother.” It’s such a bizarre and delightful space to hear someone speak those words.
Then there’s Daniel, of course–Every fourth thing out of Daniel Plainview’s mouth should be knit on a cozy:
I can’t keep doing this on my own with these… people.
I drink your milkshake!
One night I’m gonna come to you, inside of your house, wherever you’re sleeping, and I’m gonna cut your throat.
You look like a fool, don’t you? Yes, you do.
Give me the blood, Lord, and let me get away.
What a movie. It’s going to be with us a long, long time.