Master (2022)
March 17, 2022 8:27 PM - Subscribe

Two African American women (Regina Hall, Zoe Renee) begin to share disturbing experiences at a predominantly white college in New England.

Written and directed by Mariama Diallo. Currently streaming in the US on Amazon Prime.
posted by DirtyOldTown (3 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This felt flawed to me, particularly the ending which doesn't so much pull all of the strands together as splinter them. But what I took to be the central concept, that being a Black person experiencing racism in an ostensibly progressive but predominantly white space is not unlike being haunted, is really powerful. (Are you sure you're not just imagining all of this?)

Diallo's work is here being compared to Jordan Peele. Part of that is facile: they're both Black filmmakers looking at racism via the lens of horror. I mean, their styles are not particularly similar. The Get Out comparisons in particular seem really lazy. The comedy of that film couldn't be more different than what Diallo is doing here.

But in a way, this is like Jordan Peele's Us in that it shows a clearly brilliant mind taking bold risks. And much like with Us, it may take me years and several rewatches before I decide if it's not entirely landing or if simply isn't entirely for me.

I think I will understand any review between 2.5/5 to 4/5.

I don't think it would be possible to come out of this not wanting to see what Diallo does next.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:37 PM on March 17, 2022 [3 favorites]

For me, I'd give this a 3.5/5, with the notes that: a) it was a solid four star until a few twists at the end that rang weird to me; and b) I am still thinking on this one and planning a rewatch, so I may yet revise my thoughts; and c) I continue to be impressed with Diallo am definitely a fan.

This is a slow burn/dread/unease picture. Your mileage on this may vary depending on how you feel about that.

Regina Hall's character explains her frustration at white people treating her and another Black woman as impossible to tell apart. Playlist published a review of Master referring to her as "Regina King."

If you have seen it, watch her short Hair Wolf which is outstanding.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:31 AM on March 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I'm with you - definitely had some interesting stuff, but ultimately felt to me like it was trying to do too many things at once. A lot felt like it was raised and then dropped. That said, great performances, and the closing shot in particular, was fantastic.
posted by Ragged Richard at 9:04 AM on March 31, 2022 [1 favorite]

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