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Movie Review: The Master
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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The Master Film PosterThe Master
Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Written by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern
The Weinstein Company
Rated R | 137 Minutes
Release Date: September 14th, 2012

“I am a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist, a theoretical philosopher… but above all I am a man. A hopelessly inquisitive man, just like you.”

Director Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master is a post-World War II drama that focuses on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as ‘Master’ (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Freddie Quell, a drifter who becomes his right-hand man (Joaquin Phoenix).

Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman) is the leader of a faith-based organization known as The Cause, which has drawn numerous comparisons to Scientology as a cult-like movement. With his 1950 book, Dianetics, Scientology guru L. Ron Hubbard introduced the idea of ‘auditing,’ a process that allows one to go back in time and recover pre-birth, in utero memories, and disarm harmful ones while improving their mental faculties in the present.

Similarly, Dodd uses a form of ‘processing’ to ascertain a person’s true nature by asking them a series of questions and calling on them to remember details about past lives and pre-birth memories. After Freddie, a Navy veteran with a nervous condition and a drinking problem, stows away on Dodd’s yacht, the Master decides to take him in under his wing and make Freddie his protégé and guinea pig for ‘processing’ experiments.

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