Let’s talk about one of the best movies of 2012, “The Master” which has been nominated for Oscars for Best Lead Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. Also has won more than fifteen other awards out of which, Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman) has won many.
I can’t say whether Seymour dominates or Phoenix … or the chemistry between the two … The main character of the film is Freddie Coyle (Joaquin Phoenix) who looks crazy at first sight. Weak body, drooping shoulders, high cheekbones, paralyzed lips which makes it difficult to speak, anxious eyes, madness in the smile.
A lot of work has been done on the appearance of this character, and Joaquin’s performance added more to it. It’s the end of World War II. Freddie is on his way back after the victory, but perhaps there is no going back after these wars. Freddie has won the war but lost himself. But I don’t think he is looking for himself anymore. I found this character both perturbed and calm at the same time. He has lost his love. He is suffering from many regrets, and has compulsive sexual behavior, but seems indifferent.
The second character is Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The character is said to be an adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of a new religion, Scientology. Who has written Science/Fiction in the early years of his life, and then found a new religion? The film’s writer-director also says that the character is partly inspired by Hubbard.
Many interesting beliefs and practices are associated with this new group called “The Cause” in the movie. But I think the characters in the movie, Specially these two characters are metaphors. Freddie who is mentally enslaved, and compassionate for his master to the limit of madness, who himself does not know whether the beliefs of his master are right or wrong. He is a mirror of the side of the man who wants to be submissive and obedient, of the unseen God, of the worldly lover, or of one’s needs and desires, but this character is much more than that.
This character shows what role nature and society (which is obviously a part of nature) are playing in shaping a person’s personality. Dodd who is living a great life and possesses a magnetic personality, the belief that man lives many lives, and he has lived many lives, and after the end of this life, he will start a new life is enough for his peace of mind. He helps people to get rid of their past regrets, and apparently considers himself a Messiah, but in reality, he is God himself, and to reach level one has to enter in infinity.
A third character is Dodd’s wife, who looks seemingly silent but her eyes, her straight neck, her emotionless manner of speaking make her look somewhat authoritarian, which makes her feel superior. She is proud of her knowledge and beliefs. When it comes to cinematography and acting, there are a lot of sequences that run a cold wave in the spin.
Freddie’s madness and extremism are worth seeing. Peggy’s body language is further enhanced by her performance. Even the characters who came on screen for only a few minutes or seconds left their mark. Music and soundtracks are exceptional. “Get thee behind me Satan” is my most favorite.
I will call the dialogue and acting of Freddy and Dodd’s last meeting everlasting, in which two human beings who are a reflection of each other, despite all their natural weaknesses and negative attitudes, are full of love and passion, and seems to lose themselves to fear associated with these emotions. I’d love to get you on a slow boat to China All myself alone To get you to keep you in my arms evermore Leave all your lovers Weeping on the far-away shore.
Movie: The Master 2012
IMDb Rating: 7.2 / 10