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The Master

Where to Watch The Master


The Master is an American psychological drama film released in 2012 that explores profound human complexities and psychology, as told through the lens of post-war American society. The film, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, stars a powerhouse triad of talent - Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams.

Phoenix holds the screen with his intense portrayal of Freddie Quell, a World War II navy veteran struggling to adjust to post-war civilian life. Tormented by PTSD and a disorderly life filled with alcoholism and rage, Freddie is a lost soul wandering through a disjointed existence. Phoenix manages to bring life to this character with a performance that exudes simmering intensity, physicality, raw energy, and an undercurrent of vulnerability, thereby enhancing the overall allure of The Master.

Legendary actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is The Master himself, Lancaster Dodd. He's played as a charismatic leader of "The Cause", a nascent philosophical movement that holds uncanny similarities with Scientology. Hoffman's multifaceted enactment of Dodd as an authoritative, empathetic, incredibly charming yet volatile man draws our attention. The Master delves into Dodd's mind, the intricate dynamics of his movement which uncovers layers of controlling mechanisms and the man behind the functioning of such a cult.

Amy Adams delivers a compelling performance as Mary Sue Dodd, Lancaster Dodd's dedicated, steely, and quietly manipulative wife. Adams brings a complex depth to her character, offering a multi-dimensional portrayal of loyalty, determination, sacrifice, and power play.

The Master revolves around these compelling characters and their tumultuous relationships. When Freddie crosses paths with Dodd, an unconventional mentor-protégé relationship develops. This bond serves as the backbone of the narrative, exploring themes of power, control, dependency, identity, and self-destruction. The film's narrative is a potent concoction of Freudian themes, existential angst, and critiques of neo-religious movement, all underpinned by an intense character study.

Paul Thomas Anderson's signature directorial touch is evident throughout the film. The non-linear narrative, intricate character developments, profound themes mirrored through visual metaphors are testimonies to Anderson's unique storytelling style. The movie unfolds like a grotesque ballet; beautiful yet disconcerting at the same time.

Visually, The Master is a marvel. Robert Elswit's cinematography and production design transports the viewers into the world of postwar America. The 70mm filming used brings a unique textural richness to the visuals. The sweeping shots of oceans, city landscapes, meticulous attention to period-specific details contribute to creating an atmospheric setting, parallelly delivering symbolic narratives.

Music by Jonny Greenwood, the Radiohead guitarist, is another significant aspect of the film. Its complex harmonic textures and experimental orchestration underscores the emotional power of the movie.

Finally, worth mentioning is the extraordinary editing by Leslie Jones and Peter McNulty, which makes the film's layered narrative seamlessly transition and maintain a rhythm that holds the audience throughout its running time.

In conclusion, The Master is a complex exploration of post-war American society with its collective anxieties reflected in the portrayal of its main characters. It delves into the intricate human psyche, the paradoxical dynamics between Master and follower, shines light on people's vulnerability and the yearning to belong somewhere. The movie, while offering a critique on such philosophical and religious movements that sprung up during tumultuous historical times, remains a compelling character study, primarily brought to life by its talented star cast.

It's a profound cinematic experience that would leave viewers contemplating the depth of characterization and thematic symbolic representations. It's an American saga beautifully told through the prism of its flawed yet captivating characters. Few movies compel you to probe the outward facets of society while exploring the depths of the human psyche like The Master. This film will challenge the viewers, provoke thought, and leave an indelible mark on their perception of cinematic storytelling.

The Master is a Drama movie released in 2012. It has a runtime of 137 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.1. It also holds a MetaScore of 86.

How to Watch The Master

Where can I stream The Master movie online? The Master is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Kanopy, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Master for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons
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