A Dangerous Method

A Dangerous Method

Not bad but far too short - Eoghan Bolger

10 Points

Viewer Rating:Eoghan Bolger has rated A Dangerous Method rating: 3 Star

An dangerous method

Directed by David Croenberg and starring Michael Fassbender and Viggo Mortenson this historical drama 100 minutes long tells the story of psychologists Karl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Jung sees Freud as inflexible and dominated by sex, while Freud views his frenemy's approach of encouraging patients to come into another personality as delusional. Jung is shackled with a mentally ill young woman, played by Keira Knightly, but as he treats her he begins to break the bond between patient and doctor.

There were plenty of ideas/philosophies thrown around here, the debates between Jung and Freud are interesting as is the look at psychology/ psychiatry itself, Knightly does good by a difficult role and Fassbender proves a correct casting call as Jung but Mortenson needed more screentime. Jung is a conflicted man of his time, initially his female patients psychosis is presented in an interesting way, the information we are given about her, the profession of psychology/psychiatry ia engaging but no amount of intellectual thematic approach and quality acting can make one overlook problems with pacing.
It sensibly avoided flashbacks, apart from a distracting short one later on but, at the start particularly moves to unnaturally and quickly harming some of the believability, example, we see Knightly's character ranting and raving, then before the 30 minute mark we get a timeskip where she's primed and proper, with ambitions of entering the field of mental health herself. Theres a whole chunk there we could have seen more of. I think had this been an hour longer it could have taken its time and spread out the dialogue more as this is an at times overwritten affair.
I like that Croenberg is doing something different but this film misses too much potential in characterization, progression, exploration due to its short length. Its all very cold and immediately theres a sense of something missing, the director presents it almost as a checklist.
Theres a wealth to say here no doubt and what I picked up was informative but I just wish things could have been better structured.

Verdict: ***

Review published on the 17 February 2012 00:55


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