Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Dangerous Method

A Dangerous Method
Directed by: David Cronenberg
Written by: Christopher Hampton

A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

David Cronenberg completely changes gears to bring us A Dangerous Method, a film that explores the beginnings of psychoanalysis through the eyes of Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). The film begins with a powerful opening when Carl Jung’s patient, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightly), comes into his hospital screaming and laughing hysterically. It completely grabbed my attention but after that slowly started to lose my grasp.

Keira Knightly gave her best performance to date. I don’t understand why she does not get casted more as she is a beautiful young talent. She gives us a role where she plays manic on the verge of psychotic. Keira was the bright spot of this film. Her character has the best narrative arc and she made her character grow throughout the film.

As splendid as Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortensen are and were in this film, there scenes together were rather boring. A flaw of the screenwriter, Christopher Hampton. He was also responsible for the script of the stage version of the film and it is rather obvious, as the film has a very theatrical feeling to it. The entire film was full of scenes where the dialogue wasn’t leading the narrative anywhere or developing the plot, and like I said before, was boring. 

Another flaw to the film was the structure as the story would jump forward in time two or three years. It made the film seem very unconnected. Their was no smooth transition from the past to the future. 

I always thought that a film with Freud in it would be a good idea, but A Dangerous Method did not live up to its potential. I would expect a Freud film to probe my mind a little more. The film is enjoyable and worth seeing for the spectacular performance from Keira Knightly.

Rating: 6.5/10

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