Not Showing: The Master


“Nilason mo siya… You poisoned him!”

Nah, it’s the true script. I can’t believe it when I heard it in that scene and saw it. =)

Anyway, definitely this film, won’t show here. Although there might be a chance, but I’m not expecting it. It’s about a WWII veteran Freddie, who kinda lost in his life after the war has ended, doing all sorts of things from a photographer, farmer with a side job of a great cocktail mixer, became a follower of a certain leader in a somewhat religion or cult.

This leader is indeed charismatic, doing great speeches and hypnotism showing proof that this life is a mess, and should be fixed by going into the past. It may not only heal you psychologically, but also physically as he claims. As Freddie, going on this process, he realizes a lot in his life that he can at peace at some point. The Master, Lancaster Dodd never loses hope to Freddie that he will change into a good man, leaving his what so called animalistic ways, except for his great cocktail mixing. Although Freddie goes along with Lancaster in every place he went, other people besides Lancaster doesn’t like Freddie such as his Daughter (who has a attraction to Freddie even she won’t admit it ) and Son in law, believing he’s a menace to the Cause. His wife Peggy also doesn’t believe that Freddie will also help, instead it will be the downfall of Lancaster.

As time goes by, a very long time to have Freddie submit himself to the Cause, his on and off commitment to it. Even at times he is quite uncontrollable, Lancaster still have faith in him. One day, all of the sudden, he left the Cause. Trying to go back his life before going to War, he lost his sweetheart who promised waiting for him. Nothing left for Freddie, went back to Lancaster one more time, but said he will not go back to him.

He ended up lying in a beach with a sand art of a naked woman.

That’s it.

Well, for me, as much it greatly shot, and great performance.. I did not like this film. Not because of a lot of talking or those sexual/nudity scenes, it’s just.. The time when Freddie decided to really have a commitment took very long. I think that took place around 75 mins tops having that scene. I mean that’s the only thing kept me going and it’s just very long then not only that.. Another letdown was after he decided to do that, in the end, he went back to his ways. I felt, such a waste of time for me. It’s sad but well, that’s how it went. Those are the reasons why, for me.. It did not get a best picture nod from Oscars.

Although as bad it sounds, it has like I said great things about this film. One is the cinematography, showing that shot in the ocean separating waves, I could just stare that scene and love it. Of course, the Pinoy scene, which at first wondering, when did they shoot this film here? Well, it’s shot at a city in Cali with a lot of Filipinos there. =) Damn, it was short but yeah it’s good. It was a surprise I can say. Direction is good as well, because despite it’s a more dialogue driven film, I mean sometimes, you get bored or what.. But give credit to Paul Thomas Anderson and his screenplay to have this film a life to it. As much I did not like how it ends or how it went through, it’s good written and delivered by the best actors.

Lastly, yeah.. Damn give great credit to the actors, Amy Adams, Philip Seymour Hoffman and comebacking Joaquin Phoenix. As much I don’t like the role of Amy Adams, because like I said, she’s look young as a wife of Lancaster, she delivered it very well and gave me some chills about her very restrictive role as a controlling wife. I even thought at the first scenes when she was there, she is the daughter of Lancaster. But when that bathroom scene shows up, it’s his wife! I was kinda confused there but it’s still a great performance. Philip gave another great performance, I don’t know how he was able to give a great peformance in a film with such very long premise. Like in Synecdoche, New York, he kept it going for this film as well. I love his scenes, especially when you know he’s a lunatic already, he’s still composed. Like the scene at the dessert where he kept his another book.. And when he’s debating to a individual in a party, very calm and controlled. Geez.. Love his acting for this film.

Joaquin Phoenix indeed returns after that self hiatus, for a role which is very controversial, sex crazed, drinking dude who doesn’t know what to do in his life until the end. That’s why he got nominated, he clearly delivered such role with ease. And lost some big pounds, with that weird walking he does, plus the scenes he got into, that was hard. Give credit to this guy and welcome back! =) I love the scene where he just thrown into jail, then Philip is still calm, telling him to stop his rage because of what happened but Joaquin did not stop, he broke that toilet, banged his head into that folding bed then he stopped because he got tired. That scene is like a battle of an animal and his Master indeed.

Well, others seems to like this film, they can like that.. I have no problem with that. It’s just me perhaps. I like Beasts of the Southern Wild than this film despite it’s dirty looking set up. I felt good or somewhat fine in that film. This film, just I don’t know, I can handle sad or bad endings. But not, nothing achieved ending.

I think, better we can be the Master of ourselves than others telling us what to do.


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