The Master - Review

'CAUSE' I SAID SO Philip Seymour Hoffman's crackpot-charismatic Pied Piper of self-actualization Lancaster Dodd takes damaged Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix, left) under his wing in…

The Master offers none of the awesome, convulsive ''I'm finished'' climax of There Will Be Blood. Neither Lancaster Dodd, the crackpot-charismatic Pied Piper of self-actualization played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, nor Freddie Quell, the damaged, sozzled animal of a man played by Joaquin Phoenix, reach a definitive rock bottom in director Paul Thomas Anderson's latest portrait of masculinity in extremis. Despite early publicity that may have primed a lip-smacking audience to expect a provocation that would incite Tom Cruise to storm the theaters, the movie isn't a daring taunt to Scientology. If bits and pieces of Dodd's fly-by-night pseudo-psychological movement — he calls it The Cause — mimic aspects of the organization invented by L. Ron Hubbard, those similarities mean less and less as Anderson burrows deeper and deeper into the human mysteries of Dodd and Quell. For that matter, the movie may not even be fully comprehensible on first viewing, the bigger patterns in the narrative and the rhythms of the filmmaking revealing themselves more fully and clearly only with a return visit. Even then The Master is enigmatic. Read More...,,20620111,00.html


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