Written by / 2/06/2012 / No comments / , , , , ,

A DANGEROUS METHOD

title: A DANGEROUS METHOD
year: 2011
cast: Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen
rating: **1/2

The analysis for this biopic directed by David Cronenberg is that Carl Jung, played by a metronomic Michael Fassbender, and Viggo Mortensen’s quietly concentrating Sigmund Freud, didn’t agree on everything. The film begins in turn of the Century England as Jung, a psychoanalyst with a beautiful pregnant wife, takes on a new patient: a savagely unglued Keira Knightley as Sabina Spielrein, a gorgeous Russian woman whose spasmodic tantrums seem more parody than authentic. But Fassbender, remaining calm throughout the tensely nerve-wracking scenes, moves the story forward as he, practicing mentor Sigmund Freud’s methods of psychotherapy, wants to take things a step further – instead of simply diagnosing patients, to provide them a means of recovery. This gives Viggo a genuine, subtle performance, mentoring Jung who's drifting towards a surreptitious affair with Spielrein. Enter Vincent Cassel as Otto Gross, a philandering maverick that Jung’s supposed to treat but who, with a devilish gleam, steers the conservative doctor into the affair that eventually ruins Freud and Jung’s friendship; which had been established through breezy bouts of dialog, each discussing their methods that, despite the title and the usually controversial director, never feels that dangerous. And despite the risque sexual romps with Knightly and Fassbender, the film lacks edge and particular scenes, like both doctors traveling to America, wind up feeling incomplete – yet the acting, reminiscent of a royal stage play, makes up for what the story leaves out… But perhaps it’s the subconscious we’re intended to embrace.
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