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Contents copyright 2023 by Valerie Harms

My take on "The Master", Paul Anderson's film

Much has been said about how hard this film is to understand. I didn’t find it hard but I am psychologically attuned just as another might be mathematically. (I found “Inception” a lot harder.) Here’s my take on postmodern Paul Anderson’s latest offering.

The film starts with flowing water in the wake of a ship, an image that is returned to at intervals, as though marking chapter breaks or reminding us how we are on a “ship of fools.” Freddie, a young man who’s been to war, is mostly drunken and a bundle of raw nerves. He’s at the same time shy, sensitive, modest, and aggressive. In the beginning he lies on the sand near the outline of a woman, whom he’s tried to fuck (drunkenly); this image is returned to in the end showing how Freddie yearns for love.  Read More 
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