Dolev Amitai’s review published on Letterboxd:
Sometimes a movie just connects on every point that you come out of the movie and say you just witnessed something special. And I have to say The Master is one of them. It is not as easy to watch or clear as Punch-Drunk Love or There Will Be Blood, but this is a hell of a film.
Most likely one the most beautiful films I have ever seen, which makes sense since it was shot on 70mm, this is a complex film.
Joaquin Phoenix plays Freddie Quell, a sex obsessed alcoholic World War II veteran, who seems unable to return to society and find a normal life. That is until he find "The Master". The Master, Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is seems to be based on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
The Master tries to calm Freddie, and his animalistic and sex-crazed side and turn him into a calmer man and bring him closer to his organization, "The Cause", and at the same time trying to expand "The Cause" throughout America at first.
That might seem like the plot of the film, but the film is so much more than that. Amazing cinematography and direction. And all three actors are great. Amy Adams is good, but is really overshadowed by the amazing Phoenix and Hoffman.
Hoffman brings his elegancy, charisma and charm as the leader of "The Cause", while also having a little dark side to him. While Phoenix is just crazy. I have not seen many actors and characters as complex as Freddie. Phoenix plays him to perfection, as the messed up veteran.
I found the film to be very similar to other work by Anderson.
The father-son relation ship as seen in Hard Eight, Boggie Nights, Magnolia and There Will Be Blood returns here, in the form of The Master and Freddie.
Also the character who has so much rage inside also returns here. There was little of that in TWBB, but it also came out a lot during that movie, also played to perfection by Daniel Day-Lewis.
But Freddie really reminded me of Barry Egan from Punch-Drunk Love. Both of them share this inner rage that they sometimes let out. They both try to hold inside, but end up exploding.
Overall, I can't really say what was so amazing about this film, becuase it was the perfect combination of every part of the film that made is so riveting to watch.