Cert: 15 Runtime: 144 mins Director: Paul Thomas Anderson Starring: Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams
If you figure out a way to live without a master, any master, be sure to let the rest of us know, for you would be the first in the history of the world
With Oscar season just starting yet again Paul Thomas Anderson is back with another satisfying watch, The Master. With the return of Joaquin Phoenix as Freddie Quell, a clinically insane World War II veteran struggling to fit in within a post-WWII society. Going from job to job, obsessed with drinking, desperately in need of sexual advantages, and easily ending up in plenty of fights, Freddie is living the rest of his life as an ultimate outcast. But, after boarding the yacht of Lancaster Dodd, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Freddie finds out that Dodd is actually the leader of a philosophical movement called The Cause, and now after taking a part of this new religion, Freddie learns the secrets of life through the teachings of Dodd. Now, although this movie truthfully resembles L. Ron Hubbard’s method on Scientology, “The Master” focuses more on the truthful bond between Freddie and Dodd.I am a huge fan of Paul Thomas Anderson (PTA) and was extremely excited to finally see a movie of his in theaters. I consider PTA to have a very unique and interesting way of directing and writing which is very consistent and enticing in all of his works. He likes the use of music, and what is great is the music is always very different from what you normally hear in movies, it has no lyrics, it gets very loud at parts, and it puts a somewhat of a weird feel over the scene. I say weird because at times the music seems like it doesn’t fit with what is going on, but it still feels like it does somehow fit. I was considerably happy and joyed with the way PTA worked with The Master and it was superb. After There Will Be Blood and now The Master, I cannot wait to see what is next in store with Paul Thomas Anderson.Before I had seen the film, I had a basic understanding of what the film’s story was going to be about.
Even going in with this information, you still feel as if you don’t know what is going to happen. I see this storyline as very original and very intriguing. You have two men, both with obvious and apparent borderline psychotic conditions, and when clashed together make an even more psychotic atmosphere. The Master, who is Lancaster Dodd, played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, is a religious cult-like leader who has been drawn to this weak and troubled man, Freddy Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix, and has put his hooks into him. We learn how this group has been building from quite sometime now and has a somewhat large following. We learn how this group functions and what it’s beliefs are. The greatest part is the irony in this film. The people of “The Cause” as it is called, see everyone in the world who don’t follow them or operate as they do, as the insane ones. I can safely say that every character’s sanity could be called into question after watching this film. There are movies that entertain you, and there are movies that amaze you with its artistic magic. Movies that entertain you can pull you in with excitement but at sometimes when it dies down, you lose the feeling of being “lost” in the film, forgetting the fact you are watching a movie. Movies that amaze you with artistic magic, keep you watching and you can’t turn your head away, you feel as if you are witnessing reality and are in the room with the actors. With The Master, both of these traits are brought to the audience with perfect execution. A combination of cinematography, directing, acting, and storyline all play a part in what I call the “Lost-In-Movie” factor, and The Master hits the nail on the head.To end, I just want to say I went into this film thinking it was going to be great, but didn’t expect to be entertained as much as I was. The Master surely supersede my expectations.