Friday, October 5, 2012

The Master: A Masterpiece?

It's obvious that The Master is a big budget film. It's 150-minutes long. The cinematography, whether we're out a sea or trudging through the dusty desert, is exquisite.
  At times the stars, Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, teeter on the edge of over-acting, but they never step over the line. And the soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead is haunting and amazing.
     You might have read that this marathon of a movie is powerful, masterful, a tremendous tour de force.
     "Not so much," says the Movie Slut.
     The problem is the plot.
     Set in 1950, it's the story of a cult leader (Hoffman), a megalomaniac and possibly a charlatan, and his acolyte (Phoenix), a WWII vet whose sociopathic behavior goes beyond PTSD.
     The Master, whose teachings include curing followers of past life disorders (and that's not the wackiest of his ideas), experiences a profound connection to the newbie.
      Maybe they met in Prussia before the First World War. Maybe he recognizes his own animal passions. Maybe it's a homosexual thing.
     Whatever it might be, movie-goers will probably lose interest about 60 minutes after the opening credits. Just ask the Movie Slut's companion. He fell asleep.

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