Friday, 6 February 2015

Review : A Dangerous Method

A Dangerous Method : A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

A Dangerous Method, it's been a while since I first saw this. I first saw this two years ago and it wasn't by choice. 

It was at a friends Halloween party (I know, bizarre) and my friend had all these 'scary' films which were meant to be 'scary' and we got board watching one of the 'scary' films and anyway we all said to my friend who was hosting the party 'can you get the worst film you've ever seen and put it on' so he did he got out 'A Dangerous Method' and we sat down and I watched the whole thing, some of the others fell asleep watching it because it was ten to 2 in the morning that we started watching it an attempt to do an all nighter but anyway point is. I stayed up to watch this and thought that it was a very weird film, with a lot of weird characters doing lots of weird things and the theories in it didn't seem to make much sense first time around watching it.

In it's simplest I enjoyed it, but probably would of enjoyed it a lot more if I understood it better, which is something I'm too committed to be doing any time soon it has to be said. This film is a tricky one to comprehend it has to be said so I'd put that out there as a word of warning that if you watch this film you are certainly going to develop your own views upon it, but feel quite uncomfortable or awkward watching it. This film is a challenge to watch all the way through without feeling slighting out of the typical comfort zone when it comes to watching a film.

Above all, I just wasn't entertained watching this. I didn't feel entertained, normally one watches a film for fulfilling that nourishment of entertainment however this never appeared to be the case when watching 'Dangerous Method' at all. After watching it the first time around I felt 'this isn't entertainment, this is strange.' and I was right, funnily enough.

It's a puzzling and problematic film amongst all the odds and is certainly not for children, I doubt even some viewers at the age of 16 or 17 will understand this. It is portrayed as a smart adult drama about Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, and the early days of psychoanalysis and deals with frank sexual issues, an extramarital affair, and S&M. 

Keira Knightley is topless in this, and there are a couple of pretty graphic sex scenes in the film which adds to the weirdness of it. Scenes of a patient throwing tantrums and having seizures can be viewed as being frightening. 

Swearing is infrequent but includes "f**k," and characters often drink and smoke socially, including Freud's ever-present cigar. Given the film's subject matter and tendency toward talkiness, it's unlikely that teens will be interested or will want to understand, unless they're drawn to cult director David Cronenberg, who's best known for his horror and gangster films.

The storyline to 'Dangerous Method' is the setting is 1904, a sexually hysterical Russian woman, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), who is quite a weird character it has to be said and she is put under the care of Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender). 

He eventually cures her of her frightening seizures and, drawing upon her own interest in psychiatry, makes her his assistant. Despite the fact that Jung is already married, his wife pregnant, he starts an affair with Sabina, wherein pleasure is derived from violence. 

Later, Jung meets his hero, Dr. Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), and though at first they pleasantly argue over opposing theories, they eventually have a falling out over Sabina's fate. Vincent Cassel provides another layer as an analyst getting treatment for his tendency to give in to pleasure impulses.

The problem at the time of the films release is that when it came out, viewers in this country were only judging it upon the graphic sexual nature of it when in my view that was wrong for it to be all about those scenes and weirdly enough other countries aren't to startled by it, which I find interesting. 

For Director David Cronenberg to explore issues surrounding the human body, it would seem ironic of me to think that in his later, more mature films, he explores the theme of identity. He shows identity in this and goes for very intimate and basic shots which I think kind of help the film when coming to do the final edit, because you don't want to over complicate things but you want it all there so that the audience can view the basic underlined scope to get the gist of what your trying to tell them and in turn for them to understand. 

An interesting fact about this particular film is, in order for it to get made it was provided funding by BRITISH FILM FUNDING, and BFI had something to do with it I think as well.

Overall, this film is weird. 5/10!

Next Review : The Proposal.

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