I have to admit that I really only went to see the movie The Master because of this Rolling Stone Magazine review of the film (Peter Travers called it “nirvana for movie lovers”, seriously what could be more convincing?).
The movie did have a lot of weird scenes though and this Rolling Stone guy obviously didn’t find them too strange.
One of the first scenes shows the character Freddie (played beautifully by the now hunched back anorexic Joaquin Phoenix) dry humping a sand figure of a woman crafted by his mates. Another scene shows The Master, Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), singing among a crowd of people and then suddenly shazam! all the women in the room are naked. Just as they were before, but sans clothes.
If you haven’t seen this movie yet please let me describe the creepiest moment to you. The two uniquely insane men sit across each other at a large desk. Behind Dodd (who is the analytically intelligent and charismatic kind of crazy) is a large window with a bright light shining through. He is setting an ultimatum for Freddie (who is a very raw, wild and animalistic kind of crazy) that he either stops drinking and comes back to the cult (called ‘The Cause’) or Dodd never wants to see him again. Behind Freddy is a large room with a lot of wood in it. While Freddy is thinking “Man I really love being wasted”, Dodd starts to sing “I’d love to get you on a slow boat to China all to myself”. Just casually, in the middle of the conversation. This moment deserves more recognition than Wikipedia is giving it (it doesn’t even mention it). So I would like to crown it the “I-drink-your-milkshake-moment” of the month.
Luckily The Master and There will be Blood were both directed by the same man, so we only have Paul Thomas Anderson to thank for all this madness. So Paul, thank you.
I generally like movies that give me something to think about and any movie that starts with a screen filled with the ocean is worth watching so I’d really highly recommend watching The Master. The creepiness is well worth it.
And just in case you need to be reminded of the “I drink your milkshake” moment:
If you are as troubled by this scene as I am, read this article that aims to explain and analyse it.