“A Dangerous Method” by Caitlin McGrane

Posted on July 19, 2012

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I’ve seen this film twice already. I know, I know, I should get out more. But the fact is that Michael Fassbender is too much of a draw-card for me to pass up.

Dissociative Triptych: Attractive people.

So I’ll be upfront and say it: I was not enthralled by this film. However, I cannot communicate enough to you how much I wish I were. Really. Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, and Keira Knightley (who I have already admitted I no longer loathe…entirely). They were not enough to keep me entertained or invested in the story.

The film begins with Sabina Spielman (Keira Knightley) being admitted to a lunatic asylum (as they were called in the days of yore), where she is greeted by Karl Jung (Michael Fassbender). Mr Jung is currently developing his ‘talking cure’ and has been communicating with Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) regarding this new method of psychoanalysis. It is quickly established that Jung wishes to ‘experiment’ on Spielman with the new cure, as she is quite clearly stark raving mad. From there the film goes into Jung and Freud’s friendship, as well as Jung’s intimate relationship with Spielman.

Distinguished gentlemen psychologists and all around bores.

My problem is this: the film has taken one of the most interesting and, let’s be honest, sexy, parts of psychoanalysis and made it…boring. I was so utterly and ridiculously bored by this film. Oh dear God. I don’t know how, but the director has managed to make a film with Michael Fassbender in which I do not find him attractive in any way, shape or form. And Keira Knightley. Well, I can only say that I agree with the good Doctor Kermode who insists that it is probably not her fault that her character is so…peculiar. I have no doubt that her characterisation is accurate, according to the literature that is exactly how Sabina Spielman’s mental illness manifested itself. But I can’t help feeling that it is lacking somehow. Maybe it’s the editing, but it feels so stilted, so ‘performed’. She and Fassbender also, they look like they’re giving a ‘performance’. It disappointed me that this film was directed by David Cronenberg, and yet still managed to be boring.
But don’t take my word for it… what did you think?

To see more of Caitlin’s movie reviews click here.

A Dangerous Method is released on DVD on the 1st of August.

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Posted in: Movies