The Master Cleanse
Director: Bobby Miller
Writer: Bobby Miller
Cast: Johnny Galecki, Anna Friel, Anjelica Huston, Oliver Platt, Kyle Gallner, Kevin J. O’Connor, Diana Bang, Loretta Walsh
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 29.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]
Paul (Johnny Galecki) was just dumped by his fiancée and is looking for a new direction in life. That’s when he sees the ad for a new retreat and on a whim, he decides to go, to purge the last traces of the break-up and start a new chapter in his life. With him on the retreat is Maggie (Anna Friel) among others. The retreat is run by Lily (Anjelica Huston) and it starts normal enough with a juice cleanse. But the effects of that juice is very different from what is usually done at retreats like this.
One of the reasons I just couldn’t get into The Master Cleanse all that much was the fact that it announces every plot point so loudly, I was always at least a couple of minutes ahead of events actually unfolding, which took some of the pleasure out of watching them actually happening. Plus, I don’t know how often I have watched a film with a slightly strange dude in the lead who was just shit on by some woman and is now very, very sad. It’s not the best way to start a film for me.
But what I found actively annoying was the fact that they had to massively gender the creatures. Paul’s thing is blue, Maggie’s thing is pink and has, if I remember correctly, eyelashes – in any case, it looks very much female. That was sexist and nothing else. Just as it was a very racist decision to have the only person of color in the film die first. We should be beyond shit like that by now.
Other than that, though, I did enjoy the film. The cast was great, above all Anjelica Huston with Anna Friel a close second. And I did like the general idea of the cleanse itself and how that turns out. For both cast and idea I would have liked juicier characters to work with, but it still worked with the characters we got.
It’s a film that flows along at a nice pace with good jokes here and there and that is enjoyable to watch. But it takes you neither very high nor very low in its course.