The Master isn't a film that you can only watch once, which can be taken two ways. The first is that the film didn't quite convey everything it wanted to convey on the initial viewing. That Paul Thomas Anderson tried really hard to say the rather powerful things he wanted to say, but did it in such a subtle way that they're almost unrecognisable on first viewing. The second is that it's a film that's so intriguing that you want to come back again, and the second time around it speaks to you in a whole different light. It's a whole new experience. A better one, even. Both of these are correct, or at least in my opinion they are.
Paul Thomas Anderson's screenplay is fantastic, putting in dialogue so grand and wonderful. It's quite a lengthy movie, but his screenplay doesn't make it feel so. It nearly clocks in at two and a half hours, but there's never an unneeded moment, or a scene that feels tedious or dull. Every scene adds a new layer to these characters. It gives them extra depth, making my overall experience of this film all the more profound.
I have but one problem with this movie, and it fractures the film quite a bit. The film is brilliant, I'm not saying it's not, but it's hard to connect to. I couldn't tell you how many amazing movies I've seen where the main character is either psychotic, unlikeable or just downright despicable. Many of my favourite movies fall under this category! What make these movies work so well is that we can connect with them, or we sympathise with what they're going through. When it comes to The Master, I couldn't connect with Joaquin Phoenix's character, no matter how perfect and unrecognisable his performance was.