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josie's avatar

Did you see a movie called "There Will Be Blood? Can you explain something that I can not figure out about the story?

Asked by josie (27499points) August 16th, 2011

I rented this movie on Netflix. It is pretty good.

If you saw the movie, you will know what I am talking about.
A young man, Paul Sunday, approaches the oil guy, Daniel, and offers to sell him info about where he can find lots of oil.
Daniel buys the info and discovers a huge oil field.

Paul Sunday disappears.

In his oil adventure, Daniel meets Paul Sunday’s brother Eli, an ambitious preacher, who is played by the SAME actor.

Are they really twin brothers, or was Paul actually Eli, playing Daniel in order to get him close to his church so he can tap into the oil money?
Unless I missed something, I don’t think it is made very clear in my viewing of the movie.

I suppose it is not a big deal, but I can’t let it go.

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12 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

This puzzled me too. But isn’t there a moment in the dinnertable scene with the father, where the old man says something like “Oh, you met Paul”? That led me to think we were meant to understand that they were brothers.

If I’d been the oil guy, I’m sure I’d have thought he was Paul and addressed him as such. The fact that he didn’t seemed strange to me.

Blackberry's avatar

I was wondering the same thing. Great movie. I just assumed it was the latter, because he said they were brothers, but you never saw the two together after the initial meet. And Eli seemed to be a greedy bastard as well, he needed the drillers to get the oil out.

Blackberry's avatar

@Jeruba Oh yeah, so I guess there really was a twin brother. Maybe he just went his own way.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I thought they were supposed to be the same person.

mazingerz88's avatar

The way it was filmed, you can apply it both ways, Paul and Eli could be the same person with a double personality or two different brothers altogether who are spitting image of each other.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I also liked the movie and did think they were brothers rather than the same guy.

efritz's avatar

I think I read an article somewhere that the actor who played the brothers was just supposed to play the one brother Paul, but he so impressed PT Anderson that he was hired to play Eli. So it would seem that there were at least initially two separate brothers.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

This makes me want to watch the movie again! I was so convinced the character was playing two identities to enact vengeance on the oilman.

cockswain's avatar


zenvelo's avatar

I thought it was the same person. He pretended to be Paul to sell the info but not taint his “holiness” by being the one to sell the information about the oil.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the movie though.

ratboy's avatar

From the IMDb FAQ:
“Paul Dano was originally cast as Paul Sunday only. When the original actor playing Eli Sunday left, Dano was recast as both because, at that point, it was too late to re-shoot scenes, so the film plays out that Paul is Eli’s identical twin. Paul Dano stated to an NPR interviewer that he had less than a week to prepare for the role of Eli.”

ucme's avatar

It was a shit movie….end of!

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