The Master

The Master, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson Joaquin Phoenix as the skanky ex-WWII sailor, Freddie, who falls under the sway of The Master played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, has a broken-backed posture that is ape-like, consistent throughout the film.  His arms curve down into his unhealthily skinny, strange parenthesis of a body, like a starved gorilla's, ready to break someone's skull -- if they say or do anything that runs counter to Hoffman's Lancaster Dodd, a Hemingway-cum-L. Ron Hubbard amalgam with all the animal charisma, robustness, and pseudo-sagacity of those epic characters.  Is his Master at peace with such overreach?  Dodd waggishly calls Freddie a "naughty boy" after such explosive incidents of lethal enforcement: here is his useful tool for control of others. Dodd's "processing" of the Id that is Freddie is not a cost-free transactional process.  Freddie's mother is institutionalized.  His sexual hunger is about debasement, not lust.  He...(Read Full Article)

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