The Master
3.0Overall Score


Before watching this movie my expectations were really high, not only due to the 80%+ RottenTomatoes rating but also from what I heard from different personal sources especially with regards to the great cinematography and acting. I should say that at least the latter expectations were absolutely met.

This movie is beautiful and captures the zeitgeist of the post-WW-II America very nicely. And Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hofmann as well as Amy Adams are delivering a splendid performance in this picture. I would like to put emphasis on the acting of Joaquin Phoenix who once again shows what kind of a versatile actor he really is. The way he portrays his completely broken Freddie character with his continuous anger problems and hope he puts into “the Master” is nothing short of brilliant. The prison scene with Phoenix and Hofmann screaming at each other was one of best acted scenes in the movie and of this year. However, I can understand the Academy decision to go for Daniel Day Lewis’ Lincoln because it is just more of an “appealing” character to award the trophy to – granted that Day-Lewis’ acting was also really fantastic. Aside from the great acting, there were so many wonderful shots in this movie; close-ups as well as ocean panorama and the vivid colors of the late 1950s.

Looking at the more negative aspects of this film, one shall say that it didn’t do a great job engaging the audience with its story. Whereas the introduction was building up to be something really interesting and the idea of the cult behind “The Master” being pretty captivating, I was expecting to be much more into the movie. But throughout the 144 minutes, I did catch myself quite often doing other things and not being fully engaged.  

Overall, this is a solid and fantastically crafted film with great actors and wonderful shots but with its disjunct storyline, it falls short to be a really great film. Still, I think the brilliant performances are make this one worthwhile watching.

The Good

  • Joaquin Phoenix is mind-blowing in this role
  • Entire acting is fantastic
  • Great cinematography and sound editing

The Bad

  • Not a very cohesive storyline
  • Script doesn’t captivate the audience as well as the actors do
  • Could have been more riveting

  • Running time: 144 min
  • Genre: Psycho, Drama
  • Year: 2012

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