Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon, Andre Hennicke and Arndt Schwering-Sohnrey.
A Dangerous Method is the 2011 movie by the well known director David Cronenberg who is best known for his certain style of movies that knows no limits. Dark, disturbing, violent and very sexual but this one does might have all those things but is the most gentle and toned down dull movie i have seen from this director. It is based on a non-fiction book and the screenplay writer of this movie adapted it from his own stage play set on that book. A Dangerous Method briefly tells us the story of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Sabina Spielrein played by Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley respectively. This is the third movie with the Viggo Mortensen and David Cronenberg pair, they previously worked on A History of Violence and Eastern Promises consecutively. Movie is based around the time of World War I and mostly shows the somewhat interesting relationships between Jung, Freud and Sabina. As you may know, Carl Jung who is a famous name is the founder of analytical psychology while Sigmund Freud is best known for his work in psychoanalysis, the discipline of it all. Sabina Spielrein was initially a patient of Jung but became a physician and one of the first female in the field of psychoanalysis later. Movie begins with Sabina being brought to Jung's clinic for treatment of her hysteria, Keira gives a truly psychotic and somewhat over the top performance which has its flaws for the most of the movie but the scenes where she lets herself go deep and deep into Sabina's character and reveal the inner self to Jung is something to remember. Keria Knightely's accent was well fair i mean i didn't thought there was something wrong with it. The whole hysteria that Sabina has is the result of her repressed sexual anxieties, traumas, memories and fears connected to her past, her very disturbing relationship with the abusing father she had.
Keira opens up in a way i have never seen her before, she truly let Sabina talk through her and it is truly convincing how boldly she delivers the very uncomfortable details. Not just that but her expressions and tone and overall performance is very uncomfortable to watch in those scenes. The movie itself is not truly convincing or deep as you might have expected from a director like him but the thing is he never worked on biographies before, correct me if i am wrong. And we can truly sense that in this movie, something always feels lacking. On the surface, it feels like a gently if not extremely superficial costume drama with a good and interesting story but not a truly convincing onscreen delivery. Jung sees Freud as his mentor because he already is a giant in this field with Jung seems to be the next one. Jung does apply Freud's methods on his patients but doesn't truly agrees with them and throughout the movie we see the changes he brings to broad the field with his own ideas and interpretations. Freud however sees Jung's method as very unscientific or unorthodox in ways. At first we see a very friendly professional relation between these two giants of psychology and psychoanalysis but that soon begins to crack in ways. We clearly see and sense the falling apart of them, they disagree on things. The scenes when all the do is talk and talk are something that i wish they have given more emphasis on because they don't really look convincing and engaging. Where you truly feel that friction is only when they exchange letters and indulge in conversations through that which is another low point but not basically a flaw.
Another interesting relationship here is between Jung and Sabina, we see some deep hidden feelings that slowly tends to reveal their self throughout the movie. Interesting that Sabina is the one who comes in Jung's life as a total psychological wreck with no hope what so ever, but she slowly finds her way to get out of it and become a very sound and composed person. Sabina finds the real Sabina in herself but the opposite happens with Jung. Jung is married to Emma and with her you see a different version of him, i mean not a deceiving face but a real husband. That is a truly personal and a real part of his life, she is his wife and a expecting mother of his child and he knows the responsibilities. But Cronenberg really explores human feelings, sexual desires and certain social ethics and mind frames through his characters. His directorial abilities in this movie doesn't truly ravels but still he made a very sound movie. It is adapted quite nice but not good, i would say i like the score of this movie again by my favorite composer Howard Shore. The sense of time and place in this movie is quite real and honest with a good work in all the three aspects like Art Direction, Costumes and Cinematography with some problems in the editing department. Both Fassbender and Mortensen performed well but Mortensen takes the lead with a wide margin, in his short on screen timing, he truly convinces us of his talent.