The Master

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Spoiler Alert

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Freddie runs here after accidentally? poisoning an old man who he thought looked like his father. Freddie has returned from war but his troubles go way back. According to his future mentor these troubles could possibly be a trillion years old; all his diseases could be carry overs through thousands of lives.
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Anyway Freddie is running here, away from the cabbage farm where after a day of toilsome work he works in the dark warehouse making his moonshine, an alcoholic 'tonic’. It is so difficult to sympathize with Freddie. Not because of his erratic, crude and eccentric ways but because he just doesn’t care about anything. He doesn’t respect anything. He certainly has no Gods. He has no Master. Here is a runner. An animal according to his future mentor. And it is very hard to like him.
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Until he meets The Master. The Master might be interpreted as one with an agenda heading a corrupt cult, or maybe someone who liked Freddie, the only one who liked Freddie. What if he just likes Freddie as is and was just "processing" Freddie to somehow get him in 'The Cause' and keep him close. All the tactics and the methods might all be completely fake and delusional, but he liked Freddie, taking him back again and again, no matter how many angry and drunk tantrums thrown by Freddie. In the process there is a story of acceptance even for the most hopeless of the Freddies. If The Master 'makes things up along the way’, why does that offend us do much ? At least he has given a place of visibility and respect to Freddies. Yes, in the process there are cults. But what is not a cult?
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In the second last scene The Master gives an ultimatum to Freddie to either rejoin 'The Cause' or never return and face his wrath in their next lives when they are born as enemies. The Master sings a song to Freddie about sailing him away from the coast of the world and all his lovers bringing Freddie to tears. This is where it is impossible to not like Freddie. The Master has opened gates of extreme love and compassion helping surface the tender side of Freddie.

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Movie ends with Freddie returning to alcohol and sex, and repeating his Master’s questions to a stranger.

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It is better for Freddie to be a loveless, compassion less animal of the wild without any masters, or to have the possibility of finding and experiencing tender love by having a master, whether in gods , books, arts or lovers… is the eternal question.

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V Paliwal

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