Monday, September 24, 2018

Can you live without a master?

“The Master” is a film about a war vet and drifter who gets entangled in a mysterious cult. The cult leader, The Master of the film's title, is freely based on L Ron Hubbard, the founder of the so-called Church of Scientology. Some of the teachings and practices featured are indeed Scientological, while others are more based on hippie era libertinism. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh? Franklin Jones? “The Master” is a slightly incomprehensible, “artistic” kind of production.

The cult is almost never depicted as dangerous, only as slightly weird and intractable. It's not even clear whether the drifter (who manages to break away from the cult at the end) is the guy-who-is-right. It's almost implied that the cultists may be privy to some important insights about human nature…

“The Master” is extremely dragging, and could be seen as frankly boring. It was critically acclaimed mostly due to the acting performances by Joaquín Phoenix and others. I suppose it could be of some passing interest to cult-watchers and Scientology-watchers, though. Three stars.

No comments:

Post a Comment