A Dangerous Method(2011)
David Cronenberg (A History of Violence) directs this true drama based on the turbulent love triangle that developed between two towering intellectuals of our age - Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and protege Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) - and a troubled patient (Kiera Knightley).... More
Based on the play The Talking Cure by Christopher Hampton, which was based on the nonfiction novel A Most Dangerous Method by John Kerr.Hide
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BY Matt Glasby Flicks Writer
Even for an adaptation of a play called The Talking Cure, the characters in David Cronenberg’s latest don’t half blather. Whether by lecture or letter, at the dinner table or in the bedroom, they’re endlessly intellectualising. At one point Freud (Mortensen) asks his protégé Jung (Fassbender) if he realises they’ve been chatting for 13 hours. The audience won’t be so surprised.... More
It’s not that the topics in question – the founding principles of psychology, desire vs repression, whether Jung should really be shagging his patient (Knightley) – don’t merit the screen-time. It’s just that this stiff prestige picture could be a radio play and all you’d miss is Keira making ugly in the hope of an Oscar. There’s far too much talent involved for it to misfire badly, but it’s still Cronenberg’s least involving work since 1993’s M. Butterfly.
For all the psychologising we only get rudimentary portraits of Jung and Freud as men, while Knightley’s histrionic performance verges on the embarrassing. As a child, her character, we learn, liked to sit on one foot, simultaneously withholding and releasing her excrement. Somehow her facial expressions suggest this exact movement throughout.
It’s a pity because there are some juicy Cronenbergian concepts here – how “destructive forces can also be creative ones” (see Shivers, The Fly, The Dead Zone); how “not to repress yourself is to release all kinds of dangerous forces” (Videodrome, Dead Ringers, Crash). But they’re endlessly analysed rather than dramatised, and when lined up against the director’s earlier, no-holds-barred efforts, A Dangerous Method only talks the talk.Hide
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A Dangerous Method
BY telbee nobody
BY TheaterofCommon superstar
Many will argue with my conjecture that film makers such as Cronenberg walk a fine line between mastery and ineptitude. On the one hand you have a man who has remained true to vision, a true auteur by definition, on the other the hand his warped stance on existence means that often the audience is left wondering one or two things, firstly what the F*ck is going on and hang on wait, but... huh?. For the average viewer of average intellect such as me,... More this all culminates in an alienation of sorts, I'm generally confused as to why someone would go out of their way to unhinge me and not even have the decency to try and leave me fulfilled.
And unfulfilled is exactly how I felt tonight as I watched his latest 'film' A Dangerous Method. This effort is the most perplexing yet, not only does he attempt to remain relatively linear, but he does so in one of the most blatantly half-baked films ive seen this year, remember I've seen Adam Sandlers Jack and Jill.
A Dangerous Method, proceeds to outline the true stories of Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightly) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) all of whom were pioneers in their respective fields of psychoanalytics. Whilst working in a psychiatric hospital in Zurich, Carl Jung encounter's a most peculiar patient by the name of Sabina Spielrein whom has been admitted with a common case of hysteria. Jung determines that Sabina is the perfect case to attempt one of Freud's untested methods of treatment. This gives him cause to meet and consult with great Freud over the progress of her treatment, although as their relationship builds their different core beliefs are exposed to one another leading to a tumultuous relationship.
I guess after the last two golden years of Michael Fassbender's career I was curious to see what direction he would take with Cronenberg. Sadly it was as expected, only Cronenberg could rip a man from the peek of his popularity down to humdrum vanity. I'm so un inspired i cannot even bring myself to compliment the very vivid and proficient photography, meh. Knightly's better than average outing was all that saved A Dangerous Method from getting a coveted 1 star, Needless to say A Dangerous Method wasn't my bag.Hide
BY KeefScorsese superstar
The idea of sexual repression serves as a narrative backbone. The turbulent relationships between Sigmund Freud (Mortensen) Carl Jung (Fassbender) and Sabina Spielrein (Knightley) are presented but are unfortunately inaccessible to the audience.
I, a Cronenberg fan, was excited for this given the material.... More Cronenberg has demonstrated a knack for examining the concept of mind against body (Scanners, The Fly, Dead Ringers) yet A Dangerous Method proves to be, for lack of a better term, repressed. It is repressed in its own narrative structure where the intellectual ramblings between Freud and Jung sadly do not provide an insight to their personalities. It is a case of the professor is on show but not "the man". As for Knightley, her performance verges almost on the unbearable. This is unfortunate because you can really tell she's giving it her all which makes it even more disappointing.
I wanted to be educated by this film. I wanted to be shocked by this film. I wanted this film to provoke questions. But in the end, I was found wanting.Hide
BY alpheta lister