This may be true. But the more I read about THE MASTER--even from those who praise the film to the heavens--I have begun to wonder if Anderson may have taken his love of ambiguity too far, to the point where THE MASTER just kind of fizzles rather than crackles. Even many of the positive reviews comment on how the film doesn't really progress during its second half.
I continue to harbor doubts that There Will Be Blood, which is impressive in many ways, "is really about anything," so maybe I'll view The Master as meaningful in ways that Thompson doesn't/can't see.
I'm still looking forward to the film, but I've lowered my expectations.
Fair enough, but you could also say the same thing about any number of things: 2001: A Space Odyssey
comes to mind. What the hell is the last half of that
I also think There Will Be Blood
is, indeed, about something, although what it's about (and the way it's 'about' it didn't become clear until repeat viewings.) For one thing, it's about one man's hatred for everything but his own self gain and his failure to realize all the good around him. What really came across the second time I saw the film was how pathetic
of a character Daniel Plainview is. Now, on one hand, that's really obvious. But on the other hand, it didn't come across emotionally on the first viewing because I didn't care about Plainview.
The second time, though, the film taught me to care about him despite
the person he was. For me, the film is very much a Citizen Kane
type story (and one that, quite honestly, resonated a lot more for me than that film). You could reduce it to some didactic moral point such as "wealth doesn't satisfy," but it's really more about how we can refuse to be contented with anything, and choose to see the world as utterly despicable and worthless when it's really us.
who are despicable and worthless
It resonated with me so much, to be honest, because I can see bits of myself in Daniel Plainview. I can see that extreme pessimism and distaste in a way I can't see it in Kane
seems something like a fairytale - a grand tale about a grand man. There Will Be Blood
, as it ends in Plainview's house on such a pathetic note, ends up being more a little film about a man who is littler than everyone else around him. Where Kane
hinges on revealing a mystery that is little more than a plot point, Blood
hinges on revealing a mystery rooted in character and deep personal (and moral) failing.
So I find it hard to say, after experiencing so much with the film, that it isn't "really about anything." In the least, it means a lot to me personally, and I find it hard to believe that other people don't feel the same way (granted what it means to them might be very different than what I have crudely outlined above).