Strong performances not enough to pick up "The Master"

 

“The Master,” released on Sept. 21, is the newest film by acclaimed director Paul Thomas Anderson.  Anderson who wrote and directed this film, gives his vision a great platform for a fantastic spiritual journey.

“The Master” centers on the life of a WW2 veteran Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who has fallen on hard times after he returns home from the war.  Suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Quell turns to alcohol to relieve his stress while returning to the civilian life.

When Quell stumbles onto a party boat, he meets Lancaster Dodd, played by one of my favorites Philip Seymour Hoffman.  Dodd is the leader of a religious group, and sort of cult, that almost identically resembles Scientology. Many people believe that this movie is, in fact, about Scientology. So, when Dodd meets Quell, he invites him into the group, and from then on, this film centers on them growing together spiritually and emotionally.

The direction and acting was superb in this film.   Phoenix and Seymour Hoffman will most likely be nominated for Oscars for their performances in this film.  On the other hand, this film’s acting and story fell way too short in its excitement and pacing.

This movie felt like it was four hours long.  Throughout the film, it dragged on and on and in many of the sequences, there was hardly any dialogue and the action was slow.

I liked this movie because the performances from Phoenix and Seymour Hoffman were so fantastic.  But man, was this movie slow.  Half-way through, I was waiting for it to end. To rate this movie I would give it 2.75 stars out of five stars.

If you really want to see this movie, my recommendation would be to wait.  See it when it comes out to Redbox or Netflix. For many, this will not be worth your money.

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