A Dangerous Method

Check out my review of David Cronenberg’s newest film A Dangerous Method at The Alternative Chronicle:

The screams of a young disturbed woman can be heard through the enclosed carriage as horses drag it along the bumpy dirt road. Looming ahead there is a large building that holds the appearance of a serene hospice. It turns out to be a psychiatric ward run by the one and only Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender). The woman screaming and convulsing isSabina (Keira Knightley), she has been shipped to this place due to her bizarre violent outbursts. She comes at a busy time for the up and coming doctor. His sensitive wife is pregnant with their first child and he is in communication with the even more famousSigmund Freud about his controversial ideas of sexuality.

This is the set up of David Cronenberg‘s recent film, A Dangerous Method. A film so restrained and cold that it seems even more of a diversion from Cronenberg’s earlier work in the eighties and nineties. The film is about sexuality, but it is more about the psychology behind it than the actual bodily aspect. Even his last two films, Eastern Promises and A History of Violence, contained carnal visceral elements reminiscent of his bizarre and surrealistic (some might claim perverse) fascination with the human body, yet that is nowhere to be found in this new film. Is this a bad or good thing? I suppose it depends on one’s taste.

Still a more restrained Cronenberg is not automatically equivalent to a lackluster one. A Dangerous Method is a compelling look into the minds, worlds, and actions of these two highly influential psychologists and the issues they wrestled with.  The screenplay, which is at times seems obviously adapted from a stage play, is a character study that chooses three fascinating characters to focus in on.

Read the rest here

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