The Master

The Master ★★★★

"What do you do?"

"I am a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist and a theoretical philosopher. But above all, I am a man, a hopelessly inquisitive man, just like you."

Paul Thomas Anderson has become a man of snapshots. Both Inherent Vice and The Master have dealt not in large issues, but instead in something much smaller. His style has evolved. No more do we experience the fast paced drama that was ever so present in Magnolia, his most touching and masterful work (in my humble, professional, definitive, and godly opinion). No, now we see something very very different.

No longer do his stories resound the woes of humanity or anything of that magnitude. In his latest two films we experience stories in their simplest form. We can call them commentaries on the culture of insanity, confusion, oppression, love, sex, and knowledge, but why bother. I choose instead to appreciate the tales that Anderson has twisted for what they are. Stories.

I could pick his earlier films apart for hours if anyone would bother to listen to me, but The Master does not verge on the emotionally immense, as his earlier films did. Yes, I see evolution. Anderson's directorial hand is as steady as ever, but its vision has changed. He can in no way be truly compared to any other filmmaker, but my best shot would be to say that The Master is perhaps what would happen if Bennet Miller, Wes Anderson, and Aaron Sorkin worked on a film together.

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