Today I went to see The Master a movie made by the well-known director Paul Thomas Anderson (There will be blood) I’ve been busy the last few weeks but fortunately exams are over and I can sacrifice a little time for my blog.
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First of all I want to give tribute to the Parisian cinema ”L’Arlequin”. It is the only cinema in Paris that shows the movie in 65mm which is the historical format of all widely acclaimed films, from Kubrick to David Lean. The quality is by far more remarkable than the current numerical technology. The 65mm technique reflects such an authenticity especially for this film, that takes place in the 1950ies.
Phoenix plays Freddie Quell, a WWII veteran who suffered a nervous breakdown. And trust me, the casting directors couldn’t have made a better choice, considering Phoenix’s strong performance! Freddie had expected a life without anxiety and confusion. Regrettably, he couldn’t recover from the ungraspable darkness he experienced during the war.
It is an American postwar drama, which combines sadness, craziness, mystery, and brilliance. Anderson tells a deeply touching story about human beings living in an atmosphere of spiritual dreams in the 50ies. Anyway, there seems a way out of Freddies misery at the moment he meets Lancaster Dodd, leader of a mouvement/cult called ‘‘The Cause’‘. All of a sudden Quell seems to find hope.
Lancaster Dodd, alias “The Master” is played by Philip Seymour Hoffman. His character believes in curing physical and psychological diseases by doing . In order to achieve this, he performs confrontational questionings and applies treatments similar to hypnosis, as well as electro-convulsive shock therapy.
What made me watch this movie primarily, was the seemingly weird title. “The Master” doesn’t drop any real hints at what the movie might be about. After ”There Will Be Blood,” which received 5 Oscar nominations, expectations for Anderson’s new film were pretty high (mine aswell!!)
It’s about regaining the existence including a strange relationship between two lost men. A love story between a Master and his fragile pupil.
What kept my attention was also the music during the motion picture. Jonny Greenwod, the composer and guitarist of Radiohead, is given credit to in ”The Master”. A fantastique complement between images and musique inspired by the music of Otto Luening (pioneer of electronic music in the 50ies).
Personally I was overwhelmed by the actors’ performances and how this post-war subject was treated. Both, Freddie and The Master want to communicate forever, sharing their weaknesses as well ass their strengths. The fim doesn’t contain any brutality or violence. It is this kind of movie that I miss so often.
My suggestion : run to the cinema!!