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A Dangerous Method

Continuing a recent trend in moving away from the science fiction/horror hybrid he perfected, director David Cronenberg’s latest is no less engaging.  In his third teaming with actor Viggo Mortensen, his examination of the peculiarities of the human condition in ‘A Dangerous Method’ is just as engrossing as his previous works.  With a trio of characters using their intellect in a game of brinkmanship, their destructive natures seem a perfect fit for his unique story-telling style.

 

At the turn of the 20th century a major emotional battle brews.  Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), both keen proponents of psychoanalysis, become infatuated with Sabina (Keira Knightley).  Later to become a famed psychoanalyst in her own right, her presence causes harsh words to be fought between the two esteemed gentlemen.  Whilst clever in science but clueless in the art of seduction, their emotions lead them to examine their increasingly fraught actions.

 

‘A Dangerous Method’ is an interesting study in ego and the power of one’s profession.  Both Jung and Freud had an intellect enabling them to re-define their field.  As this story theorises it finds them using Sabina as a conduit in a psychological war between them.  Cronenberg has fun with twisting fact with fiction as the characters use each other for their own case studies with their disregard for other’s feelings apparent.

 

Whilst these elements make for a generally fine movie, with the cinematography suitably lush, it’s difficult emotionally investing in events.  This is a problem with several of Cronenberg’s works as his character’s cold detachment makes it difficult caring for them.  The actors attempt to bring some genuine passion to their roles however, with Fassbender and Mortensen giving good performances.

 

A dialogue heavy drama ‘A Dangerous Method’ also has enough spicy touches to keep viewers intrigued.  It’s always great seeing history being re-shaped to tell a tantalising tale of which this one most certainly is.

 

Rating out of 10:  7

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