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A striking portrait of drifters and seekers in post World War II America, Paul Thomas Anderson's THE MASTER unfolds the journey of a Naval veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future -- until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Language : English
- Product dimensions : 1.78 x 13.72 x 19.05 cm; 77.11 Grams
- Item Model Number : 26251750
- Director : Anderson, Paul Thomas, Adams, Amy Thomas
- Actors : Phoenix, Joaquin, Adams, Amy, Hoffman, Philip Seymour, Plemons, Jesse, Dern, Laura
- Subtitles: : English, Spanish
- Studio : Tcfhe/Anchor Bay/Starz
- ASIN : B008220DGE
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: 28,737 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- 21,993 in Movies (Movies & TV)
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Following the end of WW2, Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) leaves military service with a penchant for making and drinking his own distinctive brand of liquor, and an aimlessness as to what he will do with his post-war life. After a brief tenure as a department store photographer; which also provides him with the opportunity to create more booze, he ends up on a boat and meets the enigmatic Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman). Dodd, as it turns out, is a man of many talents, but also the progenitor of ‘The Cause’, a new belief system that has, reputedly, more than a passing resemblance to Scientology. From this point on it is the ongoing relationship between the two men that the film mainly revolves around, and as it does, the contrasts between the two ebb and flow, stifle and emancipate and comfort and disrupt. Their dance of the wills is observed by all around them, but in particular, Dodd’s self contained wife, Peggy (Amy Adams).
Being primarily a character study, it is one of the film’s many commendable elements that all the actors involved play their roles flawlessly. Johnny greenwood’s musical score compliments the mood perfectly throughout and the cinematography captures the feel of the time periods portrayed. That aspect is all the more evident during the department store photography sessions. Beautifully realised.
It is a brilliant film that also refuses to provide the viewer with a nice and neat resolution. This may frustrate some, but it makes sense when considering the mercurial nature of Freddie’s character, and the journey he takes. In some ways it is sad, yet in another way it is to be expected.
While being difficult for some, it is ultimately a rewarding experience for those who expect more from film, and it is also a remarkable follow up to ‘There Will Be Blood’. Highly Recommended.
As with all PTA movies there is some nice photography, but that's not enough to rescue this.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 15 May 2020