The Twenty-First Century

A Dangerous Method [2011]

“A Dangerous Method” managed to keep me entertained for 90 minutes- but I wish it was as good as its trailer, which is forceful, well-edited, and dramatically scored. The film itself has many good qualities, and an exceedingly strong cast, but it’s a bit dry. At least I can begin on a positive note; Keira Knightley delivers a bold and brilliantly immersive performance as a patient suffering from extreme anxiety. She is so raw and riveting you won’t be able to take your eyes off her. The thing is, you may want to. Michael Fassbender plays Carl Jung, the doctor who adopts Sigmund Freud technique to deal with his latest patient. Later on, Jung even gets to meet his hero, played by an amazing Viggo Mortensen. Freud adopts the young doctor as his protégé, but as the story progresses, their relationship becomes strained because of the older man’s massive ego. A deeply troubled analyst, played by Vincent Cassel, is sent to Jung for treatment by Freud. “Do not pass by the oasis without stopping to drink” he says at some point. This will eventually stir up a great deal of trouble for Jung and everyone around him.  “A Dangerous Method”, directed by the legendary David Cronenberg is thoroughly drained of eroticism. Despite a few copious nude scenes, the movie has some terrific dialogue, especially when Fassbender and Mortensen are onscreen. But when it was over I didn’t feel satisfied: there’s something missing, even though the screenplay is completely credible. There is a missing ingredient; perhaps it’s a more powerful ending. Maybe it’s just that the film is as insular as the people it portrays. Either way, I wouldn’t dismiss it completely, especially since I couldn’t ask for a better cast (Fassbender and Knightley are particular standouts). “A Dangerous Method” gets in your head, but do not expect to be blown away.

Rating: 2.5/4

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