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A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as “The Master” (Philip Seymour Hoffman) a WWII veteran who creates a belief system which catches on with other lost souls--and a young drifter (Joaquin Phoenix) who becomes his right-hand man.
"The Master" is a pretty hard film to describe because it's pretty different from anything that is out right now in every way. I remember reading that the film about was Scientology but the director has said that it isn't. Set in the 1950's, the story brings together a charismatic intellectual and a troubled World War II veteran. The Master as they call him is the leader of a new religious order or cult depending on how you look at it, it is designed to provide spiritual guidance for those they deem lost. Freddie seems to take to "The Cause" at first but the more he observes and the more he learns about it his feelings towards it become mixed.
There is a lot going on here, some of which is easy to follow and some which is a bit confusing and even disturbing. Like I already stated this is not an easy film to talk about without really getting into details which would only ruin the film for those that are waiting to see it. Story wise the film isn't a great movie but what is great is the acting and interaction between Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, both are magnificent alone in the film and even better together if that is even possible. It is their performances that carries the film and it is them that keeps you watching. This is some of the best acting I have seen in some time but it didn't come as a surprise considering who we are talking about here.
Knowing Director, Paul Thomas Anderson and his previous work makes it easy to see why this film is not going to be for everyone. To be honest I can't even say if I actually liked the film as a whole. There were parts of the story that I loved but at times I could see where people might lose interest. Don't get me wrong I really enjoyed watching the film but mainly for Hoffman and Phoenix. Well I am at it I also want to mention Amy Adams as well who also gives a very good performance as The Master's wife. The rest of the supporting cast all did a great job in the film as well.
I have to give credit to Anderson for making a film that is original and thought-provoking. The performances in the film will win you over almost immediately, go into it with an open mind and I think you are going to find it to be both entertaining and interesting to say the least.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray, both come with Special Features that include:
“Back Beyond” Outtakes
Additional Scenes Music by Jonny Greenwood (20 min)
“Unguided Message” 8 Minute Short / Behind the Scenes
“Let There Be Light” (1946) John Huston’s landmark documentary about WWII veterans (58 Minutes)
Released by Anchor Bay Entertainment
**** Out Of *****