The Master finds Paul Thomas Anderson (and America) at a crossroads

When I first saw “The Master” in theaters 10 years ago, I found it to be an engaging if frustrating puzzle, starting with its gorgeous blue water opening shot. force-brewed ocean sky (the images of the ocean become a pattern filled with deeper meaning as the story progresses). It’s a movie as erratic as Freddie, a drifter who drinks his homemade brew of moonshine, ogles every other woman he lays eyes on, and ferociously attacks anyone who dares to question Dodd and the cause, even after Freddie himself- even yelled at Dodd, accusing him of “doing this shit.” Phoenix carries his character’s trauma in every facial expression or physical movement he makes, to the point that it sometimes becomes painful to watch.

Equally impressive (and disturbing) is Hoffman as Dodd, an overbearing guy who tells his nonsense about humans not being mammals and existing in one form or another for billions of years with equal confidence. undeserved of a certain former American president. The pair are too similar in other ways, including their habit of repeating the same garbage over and over again to their followers – forcing ideas into their heads in order to ensure their continued, unquestioning loyalty – and rudely insulting or cursing those who dare to try. to expose their lies for what they are. (Suffice it to say, “The Master” has only taken on new forms of social relevance in the past decade.) Together, Freddie and Dodd form a toxic yin-yang, as if they were two sides of one person made of flesh.

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