Friday, 25 May 2012

Trailer Review: The Master

The new trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's latest film, The Master, has recently been released, and at only 1 minute and 40 seconds it is easily the best piece of cinema I've seen in 2012. This one has gone straight to the top of my obsession list.

Never before has a trailer, let alone a teaser, conveyed such a feeling of impending danger and sinister characterisation as we see here. Joaquin Phoenix, the best actor of his generation™, is back on the screen at long last and after the truly dire 'stunt' that was 2010's I'm Still Here, a film so bad, it needed something remarkable to win back the critics - and with only 100 seconds of footage, he is possibly better than he's ever been before.

Just look at his eyes when he first appears on the screen, his facial tics, his voice when he says "Stroooong".... This trailer has changed everything for me in 2012.

Why can't he remember? What has he done? Is he crazy? Is he lying? Is it all just a game he's playing? So many questions are asked here that most films don't confront their audience with in two and a half hours.

This is Paul Thomas Anderson's first film since 2007's There Will Be Blood, which, in my opinion is a modern American masterpiece, and along with The Tree Of Life, one of only two 'perfect 10's' I've seen at the cinema in 25 years of going. Moreover, the trailer is reminiscent of a brooding and psychologically tormented version of a Terrence Malick picture; the scenes on the beach, the sailors wrestling, the 1950s male lead, a disconnection with the world.

Yet the scenes at 1.03 and 1.25 in the trailer are framed like classic Kubrick... a mix of Kubrick and Malick sends my anticipation levels sky high.

Add to all of this a score which in less than two minutes goes from gentle to foreboding to panic, yet never loses control; maybe like the character we see before us?

Compare this to other recent teasers like Anchorman 2 and Skyfall, and the difference is class of trailer is clear to see. The Master may already be the best film of the year.

Update: The second trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master has now been released online.

1 comment:

  1. Good analysis Rohan, I like the score in this trailer, reminds me of the unsettling score in There Will be Blood. Also Joaquin Phoenix performance looks like it's going to be really unforgettable, let scenery chewing commence.