DVD Review: A Dangerous Method
Though I haven't seen a majority of David Cronenberg's earlier films, his reputation and influence are undeniable. His films have been known to transport the viewer down some dark and twisted tunnels within the human psyche. Unfortunately, the only dark and twisted place A Dangerous Method transported me was to 1999, just in time for my 9:00 a.m. Psych 101 class. And much like my attitude toward the class, the only energy I could muster for the film was to stare blankly until it was over.
The film centers on the complex relationship between psychologist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and his demented patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), with whom he eventually begins an affair, all while exploring the uneasy friendship between Jung and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen).
The two gentlemen have a nice chemistry on screen together, and their relationship was by far the most intriguing aspect of the film. Even though their dialogue was tedious to sit through, their performances kept me minimally interested, particularly when the friendship began to sour.
Unfortunately, the film tries to beckon the unsuspecting viewer with Sabina's story for the first 25 minutes...
I haven't been one to call for Knightley's head on silver platter since her career took off nearly a decade ago, but this was simply inhumane. Between the painful contorted facial expressions and the faux Russian (perhaps) accent, she destroyed all hope of being taken seriously, pushing the main plot of the film from dull to nearly unwatchable.
Outside a few passable performances and the beautiful backdrop of Zurich, A Dangerous Method is as exciting as a pictureless textbook on the subject matter. Perhaps it's time for Professor Cronenberg to take us out of the classroom and put us back into our nightmares.