A Dangerous Method Movie Review
A Dangerous Method Moo-Vees Review:
AN undeniably fascinating and achingly formal period drama, A Dangerous Method transports the viewer to a crucial crossroads in the evolution of modern psychoanalysis.
(Most of you probably nodded off during that opening paragraph. Go get a coffee, and I’ll wait for you below.)
There’s due to be a head-on collision between two famous founding fathers of therapy for the mind.
A Dangerous Method is in the early 1900s and all, it’s going to take yonks to happen. The cars didn’t go that fast back then, remember. To help the time pass, we are first introduced to a worryingly nervous young Russian woman named Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley).
Christopher Hampton (screenplay), John Kerr (book)
Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley and Viggo Mortensen
Her favourite pastimes, she says, are suicide and interplanetary travel.
This statement (and her endearing habit of screaming at short notice) can only lead the viewer to deduce the following. Either Miss Spielrein is: (a) lying; (b) not that good at either discipline; or (c) stark raving mad.
All of the above make Sabine the perfect patient for aspiring German super-shrink Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender). He believes this new-fangled psycho-therapy idea is so crazy it just might work.
Jung soon becomes a pen pal – and then a best bud – of the one and only Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). But the two are destined to become the best of frenemies on ideological grounds.
In A Dangerous Method, Siggy reckons any problem with the brain box is all about sex. Carl kind of agrees for a while, then comes to think the psyche isn’t strictly hard-wired to the crotch.
The film steps purposefully through the tale it has to tell as all big-deal biopics should.
The vibe here is confident, committed, and – let’s not beat about the long black couch here – just that little bit boring.
Just like Jung and Freud themselves.
Fassbender and Mortensen complete their duties with an aptly clinical precision, though both overdo the pregnant pauses and quizzical stares. Perhaps they were billing the producers by the hour?