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The Master (2012)
A Significant Achievement in Film
Religion is an enigmatic concept. While some experience organized faith as a source of vast spiritual relief, others are left to associate it with devastating amounts of pain and adversity. Filmmakers often attempt to tackle such difficult subject matter, but very few have been able to do so like Paul Thomas Anderson.
Despite its near perfect cinematography and score, The Master is defined by the Academy Award nominated performances delivered by Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams. Of the three, Joaquin Phoenix's exceptional portrayal of Freddie Quell stands on a higher pedestal. Who is Freddie Quell? Aside from being an eccentric WWII veteran who fails to subdue his alcoholism and sexual urges, he is essentially no different than the average viewer. Freddie's undetermined future is one that can be mirrored by any troubled man or womanany lost soul that only hopes to be found. Finding solace in a cult-like organization, Freddie is taken in by none other than "The Master". Who is The Master? Informally known as Lancaster Dodd (and played brilliantly by Philip Seymour Hoffman), he is an individual who answers to no one (with exception to his wife, that is). Contrary to his perception, Lancaster Dodd is no prophet. He is many things: a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist, and a theoretical philosopher. But above all, Lancaster Dodd is a man, a hopelessly inquisitive man, just like you. The Master is a film that leaves you searching endlessly
but what for? Considering the numerous questions proposed by Anderson's 6th film, it is ultimately suggested that perhaps, they are to remain unanswered.