Saw The Master last night. Still processing it, but here are a few brief thoughts for now:
-I liked the movie overall.
-It was too long. I don't mind long movies as long as the time is not wasted. This one could have been edited down to under 2 hours without losing anything. (The running time is 2:18.)
-Lots of nudity and graphic profanity. I'm never a fan of that, but it was appropriate (not essential) to the story. So be forewarned.
-I thought the movie nailed the complexities, psychology, and nuances of personality cults.
-Perhaps I appreciated the movie because I'm also currently reading a fascinating biography of Jim Jones and The People's Temple. Although the subjects of personality and ideology are different, the movie captures the essential human frailties and psychology that lies at the heart of most all false religions and cults.
-While the performances of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix were very good, I think the movie would have been better served with a lesser known leading cast. As good as they were, I still felt like I was watching Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. One of the things that made Schindler's List so powerful to me (and I realize many people don't like that movie, so we don't have to debate that here) was the fact that Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes were not well known at the time, so I didn't feel like I was watching actors.
-Ultimately, I would give the movie 3 stars out of 5.