The Master ★★★★½

Free yourself.”

Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is one of the most deeply harrowing and challenging pieces of art I’ve ever experienced. Only a directorial genius at the top of their game could come close to making something this powerful, and for that reason, I consider Paul Thomas Anderson to be the greatest living filmmaker. 

This is a film about many things, it’s extremely layered and rewards rewatches, so I doubt I’ll be able to scratch the surface as this is my first viewing. What I mainly took away from it was that it was an allegory for the manipulative, opportunistic con that is religion. We see a deeply troubled veteran undergo mental torture, and get seemly hypnotized into a belief system known as The Cause. It only makes sense that the film itself has a very repetitive and hypnotic quality to the pacing, music, and presentation. There were points where I couldn’t tell if it was going to end in the next ten minutes or go on for another hour. 

This is an extremely impressive accomplishment, and I cannot wait to see this film again. Free your mind, and see The Master if you haven’t already.

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