June 16, 2014
P.T.A. gives a creative story that doesn't make it all the way through excellence.
Paul Thomas Anderson has always been a brilliant filmmaker. In his film 'The Master' he tackles a religious cult similar to Scientology and how it started out in the 1950's. Joaquin Phoneix gives his most crazy performance as Freddie, a WW II navy solider who just made it home to the states and is having some bizarre issues. He is a very aggressive man who has strange emotions and is sexually driven. Clearly he suffers from a form of post traumatic stress disorder. Freddie soon meets Lancaster Dodd(Phillip Seymour Hoffman) who is starting a new "religion." That religion just so happens to be very similar Scientology, and Lancaster Dodd is very much like L.Ron Hubbard. Freddie is soon brainwashed into the cult Lancaster and his militant wife Peggy (Amy Adams) have started and it causes Freddie to become militant as well. This film was very uncomfortable at times. Freddie's sexual desires are quite common and are very graphic and strange at times. The plot is very interesting, but it doesn't really go anywhere. It just shows how the cult evolves throughout the film and how it affects Freddie. Freddie was a very interesting character. The only problem is that he didn't grow! He stayed the same throughout the film and got old after a while. Joaquin Phoneix gave an excellent performance and was electrifying at times, especially in an intense jail cell scene where he goes biz arc. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams were strong as Scientology determined to get their beliefs shared. Paul Thomas Anderson has always had a thing for creativity. This film may be his most complex film since 'Magnolia' but doesn't finish or move right. It could have been much better and is a bit overdone at some points. Much more drama and character transitions were needed, and Paul Thomas Anderson should have shot the film in a more complex way instead of a few magnificent shots with the rest being boring and bland.
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