Master is a 2012 psychological drama starring Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. There will be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson has directed and written the film. Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood is in the film’s role while Mihai Malaimare Jr. handle cinematography. The story follows Freddie Quell (Phoenix), who is a World War II naval veteran. As he struggled to fit into post-war society, he met Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman). He is the leader of a religious movement called “The Cause”. Dodd sees the promise at Quell and finally takes it into motion. Freddie immediately liked The Cause. He began traveling with the Dodd family along the East Coast to spread his teachings. This film is a joint production between Annapurna Pictures and Ghoulardi Film Company.
The story has several different inspirations. This is partly inspired by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology. It also draws inspiration from Anderson’s early drafts There will be Blood, the novel V. by Thomas Pynchon, the naval story Jason Robards told Anderson when he became seriously ill while filming Magnolia. John Steinbeck’s life story was also the inspiration for the film. Master premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 1. The film won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film at the festival. The film opened in theaters on September 14, 2012. The film received tremendous critical acclaim. Critics praised the three main performances. In addition, the scenarios, directions, and realistic portrayals of post-World War II Americans were also praised.
Who is on Cast?
Joaquin Phoenix plays one of the main characters, playing Freddie Quell, a World War II naval veteran. Late Phillip Seymour Hoffman put on an outstanding performance as Lancaster Dodd. Amy Adams co-starred with the other two, playing Peggy Dodd. Laura Dern plays the character Helen Sullivan. Ambyr Childers plays the character Elizabeth Dodd. Rami Malek plays Clark Massey. Jesse Plemons also plays Val Dodd. Kevin J. O’Connor plays Bill William. Christopher Evan Welch plays John More. Madison Beaty plays Doris Solstad. Lena Endre as Mrs. Solstad, Amy Ferguson as Martha the Girl Seller. Patty McCormack plays Mildred Drummond. There’s also Jillian Bell as Susan Gregory and Joshua Close as Wayne Gregory.
Master – Plot details
Freddie Quell is a WWII naval veteran. He carries trauma from the war and struggles to fit into post-war society. His trauma from war often spills over into violent and erratic behavior. He now works at a department store as a photographer. When he got into an argument with a customer, he was fired from his job. Back on the farm in California, while he was working, an elderly colleague collapsed after drinking Freddie’s liquor. When he faces charges over the incident, Freddie runs away. One night, he found himself in San Francisco. He then hides on a yacht owned by Lancaster follower Dodd, the leader of “The Cause”. This is a nascent philosophical movement. Finally, Freddie was found. Dodd met her and described her as “perverted.”
She then said that she had met him in the past but couldn’t remember where. Dodd invited Freddie to stay and attend his daughter Elizabeth’s wedding. He could stay as long as he could make more booze, something Dodd liked. Dodd began following training sessions with Freddie. He called it “Processing,” in which he asked Freddie a series of disturbing psychological questions. As Dodd continued with the process, Freddie slowly began to reveal his past. She talked about her father’s death, her mother’s incarceration in a mental institution, and her sexual incestuous relationship with her aunt. There are also flashbacks of his past relationship with a young woman named Doris. The young woman was from her hometown, and Freddie had promised her that he would come back to her one day. Freddie begins traveling with the Dodds as they spread the teachings of “The Cause”.
Freddie’s Erratic Behavior
At a party in New York, a man questions Dodd’s methods, calling the movement a cult. Dodd lost his cool and insulted the man, calling him names. She called him “jerk pig” and asked him to leave. Freddie followed the man to his house and attacked him that same night. This annoys Dodd. Meanwhile, the rest of the movement began to worry about Freddie’s behavior. Freddie criticizes Val, Dodd’s son, for not following his father’s teachings. Val told Freddie that Dodd was just making it up and making it up as he went on. Dodd faces detention for practicing medicine without the proper qualifications. Freddie attacked police officers, and as a consequence, was also put in prison. While behind bars, Freddie exploded with anger. She questions everything Dodd has taught her and accuses her of being fake.
Dodd calls Freddie worthless and lazy, saying that no one likes him but him. After being released, they reconciled, but the other members became more suspicious of Freddie. They are afraid of him because of his angry and erratic behavior. They believe he is mad or an undercover agent, or that they are beyond their help. However, Dodd emphasized that his behavior could be improved by tighter and repetitive conditioning. Freddie found this difficult to internalize. Freddie goes with Dodd to Phoenix, Arizona, to celebrate the release of Dodd’s latest book. There, Freddie attacked the publisher Dodd when he criticized the quality and teachings of his book. Helen Sullivan questions some of the details of the book, which causes Dodd to lose his temper.
The separation of Freddie and Dodd
Dodd then took Freddie to the salt flat on his motorbike. He told Freddie to pick a point in the distance and drive towards it as fast as he could. Freddie did the same, left and disappeared into the distance. Freddie returns home to Lynn, Massachusetts, to meet Doris and fulfill her promise. However, he finds out that he is now married and has a family. Freddie told Doris’s mother that he was glad she was happy. Later, while he was sleeping in the cinema, he received a call from Dodd. He now lives in England and begged Freddie to visit. Freddie arrives in England and finds that the “Cause” is now bigger than ever. Dodd didn’t expect Freddie to stay with her, buy asking for something. He said that if he could live without any master, he would have to “tell us all.”
He asked for it because he would be the first person in history to do so. Dodd later shared that he and Freddie had known each other in a previous life. They used to send balloons over the blockades set up by Prussian troops. Dodd then gave Freddie an ultimatum. Either he stays and devotes himself to “The Cause” for the rest of his life, or leaves and never returns. Freddie suggested that they meet in the next life. Dodd said if they did, it would become mortal enemies. Dodd sings “Slow Boat to China” as Freddie starts to cry. Freddie then went and picked up a woman at a local pub. During sex with the woman, he repeated questions from his first Processing session. He was curled up beside a crude statue of a woman that he and his comrades chiseled during the war.
Master is a Cinematic Treat that is Directed and Visually Appealing
Master is a master class in acting. It had some of the best acting shows shown on screen during the 2010s. The late Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Synecdoche New York) and Joaquin Phoenix (Joker) put on extraordinary performances. It’s amazing to see them act and, more than that, interact. The kind of rhythm and uniqueness they bring to the show sets them apart from the rest. Full films are almost a tool for them to flex their acting skills. Phoenix actually robbed Oscar that year. While Seymore is enigmatic in her lost portrayal of Hubbard, Freddie’s appearance is poignant.
The cinematography is sublime; it has a tinge of visual flair that makes it very sensible yet cinematic. This also comes with an excellent score by Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood. He has collaborated several times with Paul Thomas Anderson, and each collaboration has yielded extraordinary results. The narrative can feel a little confusing about what it is trying to say; everything seemed confusing and vague and intentional. But the kind of uncertainty complements the overall mood of the film. It’s a visual pleasure, the production is flawless, and the shows are some of the best. Our rating for Master I s 4.5 from 5.
You can see the trailer here;
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