Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Master

Movie Name: The Master
Year of Release: 2012
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons, Kevin J. O'Connor, Ambyr Childers, Martin Dew, Christopher Evan Welch, Bruce Goodchild
Genre: Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 10

Following the stupendous "There Will Be Blood", the fantastic Paul Thomas Anderson is back, with a new film, which represents a new crowning achievement in a career already filled with stunning films. "The Master" follows the life of Freddie Quell, a young man who upon finishing his time in service during World War II wanders aimlessly through life, engaging in chronic drinking, violence and sex. On one of his escapades, he meets Lancaster Dodd, and his family (including pregnant wife Peggy and his adult children from previous marriages). These seemingly opposite people, are drawn to each other, as Lancaster, himself described as a Renaissance man, tries to save Freddie from his self-destructive path.
It's undeniable that Paul Thomas Anderson's films have always been  populated by interesting characters, with his central characters seeking a family, or a nuclear group setting, one that allows them to have a feeling of belonging. That occurred in "Boogie Nights", "Magnolia", ""Punch Drunk Love" and "There Will be Blood". "The Master" is an extension of those themes, but expanded on a different level - the quest of Lancaster in saving Freddie, is like a damn trying to stop the flow of a raging river. The film illustrates the basis of a cultish religion, but ultimately focuses it's attention on the quest of two different men, who cross paths, one trying to save another, and the other trying to understand where his life is going. The film is fantastically well done, from the stunning cinematography from Mihai Malaimare Jr. (who deserves an Oscar), to the brilliant performances from Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. Joaquin Phoenix in particular dominates the film from beginning to end - his portrayal of the lost Freddie, is simply unforgettable. A masterful film, impossible to be forgotten.