Saturday, March 9, 2013
The Master (2012)
"If your mind is already made up, what ask the questions"
World War II soldier Freddie Quell comes home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future, until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader
The Master isn't a easy movie to really review that this time, but I'm going to give my best opinion of it just after seeing it just once, I might do a revision to this review after I watch it again.
Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a troubled World War II soldier who has some very deep issues mostly and what we see threw out the movie is his drinking problem. In some ways this movie should've been called The Drunk instead of The Master.
We meet Freddie for the first time at the end of his tour of duty where he drinks like no other and does a lot of odd things in front of his fellow soldiers including simulate sex with a sand made woman and then goes off to the edge of the beach and masturbates.
After he gets back home he gets a job as photographer,but can't keep that job to long after a odd and funny but sad exchange and fight with a man that makes him quit the job, he then gets a job as a working in a field in Salinas, he keeps this job for awhile until one night he is sitting around drinking with some of the other workers mostly an older man who Freddie says looks like his father and gives him some of his homemade drink, The old man basically dies later but we never get full closure on that because in a panic Freddie flees
He in his own drunken state finds himself stowed away on a ship where he meets Lancaster Dodd aka The Master (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who is many things but most importantly a man, Dodd takes a liken to the uneasy Freddie mainly because of his homemade drink ( which I believe is Moonshine).
Dodd welcomes Freddie into The Clause that he is The Master of along with his wife Peggy (Amy Adams), son Val (Jesse Plemons), Daughter Elizabeth (Ambyr Childers), her husband Clark (Rami Malek) they all go around to different cities and homes talking with different groups of people about his ways and teachings. Freddie doesn't fully understand The Clause but he will do anything to support it and will fight against anyone who is against it.
As the movie goes on we get to witness the odd relationship between Freddie and Lancaster and Peggy unfold, there could be a number of things that come to mind mainly being that Lancaster and Freddie might be more then a friendship and Dodd's marriage is just for show, in one instance is a exchange between Lancaster and Peggy in a bathroom that could help further this theory.
The Master has been said to be a take off of Scientology and its founder, I don't know to much about Scientology and what they teach so I won't go any further on that so I'll just leave it at that.
I will say that Joaquin Phoenix does a great job as Freddie Quell the man without a country who doesn't know where he fits in at or knows where he wants to go in life, we get a very sad backstory on him that kinda makes you understand his weirdness, Phoenix who hasn't been in a movie in a 4 years doesn't miss a beat with and hits all the right notes that makes Freddie ticks and deserved his nomination for best actor.
Phillip Seymour Hoffman gives an solid performance as Lancaster Dodd aka The Master and plays the Duality of his character very well you never know exactly what he is thinking but his actions and reactions gives you a sense that there is more then what meets the eye with him.
Amy Adams to me is very strong as the no nonsense wife Peggy who puts Lancaster in his place as well as Freddie and doesn't pull any punches with how she deals with either man, but I don't feel that she should've been nominated for best supporting actress.
Paul Thomas Anderson does a another great job with directing a not so easy and very complex story and gives us a insight into what The Master is very similar to There Will Be Blood and a few scenes in both movies mirror each other one notable is the scene where Dodd gets Freddie to be completely truthful with him just like Daniel Plainview's baptism scene.
Joaquin Phoenix- Freddie Quell
Phillip Seymour Hoffman- Lancaster Dodd/ The Master
Amy Adams- Peggy
In Closing The Master isn't the easiest movie to understand but It's an interesting movie to watch and a good character study of the main leads, repeat viewings will be a must for me on this movie just like There Will Be Blood was for me, its not Anderson's best movie by any means but it is a important movie to watch so If your a fan of Paul Thomas Anderson especially There Will Be Blood and Magnolia then The Master will be a movie you will fully enjoy and gets you to thinking about different things in your own life.