LOS ANGELES—"The Master" is the story of a deranged and alcoholic World War II vet (Joaquin Phoenix) and his relationship with a spiritual leader dubbed cult leader by some (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). The film is written by and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who is also known for “There Will Be Blood” and “Punch Drunk Love.” Similar to “There Will Be Blood,” “The Master” has beautiful, rich, dark tones and the story line develops slowly with plenty of dialogue. The films score by Jonny Greenwood is beautiful and as erratic as Joaquin Phoenix’s volatile character, keeping viewer’s emotions on edge. The highlight of the film, however, is the phenomenal acting of Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix.
Despite unbelievable acting and beautiful writing, the film will leave you feeling heavy in your seat, as you ponder about the nature of humanity. The Master is not a “feel good” movie, nor was it intended to be. Freddie Quells character shows little improvement from the beginning of the film to the end. He remains a very dark character throughout the film. His actions during the present time within the movie provide little reason to root for his well-being, however the brief glimpse into his past, and his love with Doris, provides a string of hope to hold onto. Yet, as an audience we are never offered the redemption we yearn for. The film is simply a glimpse into the life of an indifferent, depressed, and deranged man struggling to live.
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