The Master

The Master ★★★

When it comes to what this film was selling itself to be, The Master is a disappointment but then, there's also no denying that it's one of the best character studies since Paul Thomas Anderson's own There Will Be Blood. The direction is impressive, the complex narration is where this film's biggest problem lies, cinematography is absolutely spellbinding & the performances are one of the strongest of its year.

Amy Adams is brilliant as Mrs. Dodd, Philip Seymour Hoffman is even better as Lancaster Dodd (the charismatic leader of a cult organisation), but it's Joaquin Phoenix who is the real master of this film. His portrait of Freddie Quell, an alcoholic, sex-obsessed wanderer in post World War II America, is absolutely riveting, bone-chilling & heartbreaking but at the same time, is so exceptionally well performed that it easily qualifies as one of the finest performances of this century & certainly the best of Phoenix's career.

On an overall scale, The Master is a rather complex film on master-disciple relationship that viewers might or might not benefit from multiple viewings. The story is very much off track due to its own convoluted plot for the most part but is also at its absolute best when the screen is shared by a disciple who is lost & the charming leader who claims to have all the answers. A must for fans of Paul Thomas Anderson. And definitely a must for fans of Joaquin Phoenix. Multiple viewings advised.

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