John's Review of The Master
A war veteran played by Joaquin Phoenix returns home and becomes a drifter. One day he meets Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and begins to seek peace though some theories about past lives.
This film is drawing some controversy because of the similarities to Scientology. Writer and Director Paul Thomas Anderson has said over and over again that they film is not related to Scientology at all. Which is proof that religion is one of the most touchy subjects. Some people can't talk about it without an argument. Some people are not even open to having a discussion and sharing ideas. I was born and raised Catholic. I'm not the best Catholic and my personal views may drift some from the Catholic views. But if you're happy and at peace with your life does it matter what religion you are? Or what your believes are? I love talking about religion, faith, life, and afterlife. It's one of my favorite conversations and I really enjoy hearing others feedback.
I didn't think The Master was mocking Scientology. Nor was it mocking any religion. It's a film about a lost man named Freddie (Phoenix) with no place to go and nobody that cares for him. One day Lancaster Dodd takes him under his wing to show Freddie a way to find answers though a series of tests. Lancaster Dodd might be a con man because he might not have any proof to back up his beliefs. Last time I checked there are not many people out there attempting to help lost alcoholics find a fresh start.
This is Joaquin Phoenix's best performance ever. At this moment the Oscar is his to lose. I thought his film "I'm Still Here" was the dagger in his career as an actor. But The Master has revived him and reminded us at how much talent he has. Paul Thomas Anderson has said in recent interviews that Joaquin was so involved with his character that at times he would actually hit and possibly hurt himself. Philip Seymour Hoffman is my favorite actor and I thought he also did a brilliant job. But Joaquin upstaged everyone in this film including the script.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favorites. There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia are a few of his films I love. The Master is another original film written and directed by Anderson. I remember watching the end to There Will Be Blood. There is a very violent scene followed by the words "I'm Done". A lot of people didn't care for a ending like that. I thought it was great and I thought the main character didn't need closer. Magnolia also left people with the same feeling. A ending out of the ordinary is something that you have to expect from Paul Thomas Anderson. But he has a way of writing some brilliant scenes and casting top notch talent for his films. The Master is another work of art and one of my favorite films of 2012.