04-17-2013, 10:33 AM
I finally saw this (and on the big screen, no less!) and while it doesn't have the overwhelming grandeur and awe-inspiring mise-en-scène of There Will Be Blood, I think The Master, for all its lack of narrative discipline and thematic obscurantism might be an even more insightful and psychologically complex than Anderson's previous film. To me this could be some sort of even thematic and idealogical continuation of the themes explored in There Will Be Blood, except here it's turned inward. While Blood explored religion and materialism as forces fighting for the soul of man, The Master implies the harrowing near-impossibility of free will, such a concept as nothing more than illusory and the (inherent?) need of conceding that free will to a "master". A free man in the modern world as nothing but an illusion and to pursue such a radical freedom as a path to self-destruction. At first I thought this would be an all-too common critique on religious institutions but the tables are turned at the end when Lancaster is shown as subjected to his "cause" as anyone who follows him. He too, is in need of a master, of committing to something; almost bringing to a conclusion that absolute freedom can only lead to madness.
Definitely one of the more complex films of the past year. Phoenix and Hoffman are spectacular.
Last edited by affy18; 04-17-2013 at 10:40 AM.
04-17-2013, 10:52 AM
04-17-2013, 11:02 AM
04-17-2013, 11:15 AM
Originally Posted by affy18
04-17-2013, 01:12 PM
04-17-2013, 02:01 PM
The more I think about this film and its themes of freedom and subjugation, the more I see even theological dimensions that relate to the human condition of freedom and it brings to my mind a quote from Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov:
"So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship."
I think that that's at the very core of what this film is about.
I am also reminded of a CS Lewis quote:
"Hell is the great monument to human freedom".
I think Anderson argues that the contradictory desire of the human will to be free and once in freedom to be subjugated is a tragedy of the human condition. Freedom without subjugation leads to destruction. Nothingness.
Cheerful, isn't it?
04-17-2013, 02:17 PM
That line is the key line in the entire movie. It and the song are the catharsis to the movie and they explain a lot about what PTA was trying to do with this latest film of his. Tell a "love story", and talk about the power dynamics of cults (and the usual father figures, the power dynamics of sex, etc.).
Originally Posted by affy18
I saw The Master once again a couple of weeks ago and I was struck by how much I was enjoying it! It wasn't just an intellectual exercise and exploration of these two characters, it was a great, I would even dare say entertaining journey that PTA took us on! My second viewing brought me that all too important factor and a greater appreciation for his directing in this movie.
Last edited by moviewatcher; 04-18-2013 at 07:23 AM.