Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams
Running time: 143 minutes
Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favorite director. I enjoy Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love and There Will Be Blood. So this film (the sixth from this 42 year old director) is the one I am waiting for, but I am unlike those annoying Christopher Nolan fans who brose the internet to read and share every tiny detail about the film before seeing the actual film. I'd rather wait until I watch the film, then I will browse for more information, if necessary.
In post World War II United States, Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), is a veteran struggling with PSTD and sex addiction to live in the peaceful society. He tries to be a photographer but involved in a fight with a costumer, then he become a cabbage farmer and intoxicate one of his fellow farmer with his moonshine. It is not until he met Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), a leader of a philosophical movement known as The Cause that his life seems to find a light by the end of the tunnel?
But it is not as easy as that since Freddie seems to behave more violently, no matter how hard he tries to 'cure' himself with the help of Lancaster and Lancaster himself is not a 'clean' person. He has once being arrested for money fraud and his method in establishing the cult is questionable.
It is borderline creepy on how a person start a cult based on irrational and illogical belief. What is more creepy is hoe deluded their followers are in following such belief. Perhaps those people just want to fill something empty inside them which is lacking in real life, so they are easy to be duped by Lancester.
The acting was great, Pheonix and Hoffman are amazing and Paul Thomas Anderson shows us beautiful scenery which reminded us of There Will Be Blood. The music by Johnny Greenwood add the element of alienation and sadness. Frankly I do not know how to feel about this film, it is good but somewhat strange and distant. Perhaps as strange and as distant as The Cause itself.