Movie Mention: A Dangerous Method

This is a film I’ve been waiting to see. Yet in all honesty, it felt like a truncated mini-series, where a lot of the essentials were cropped out. Michael Fassbender plays Carl Jung, a psychologist and theoretical heir to Big Daddy Siegmund Freud.   As he falls in love/lust with a patient (Keira Knightley), Jung finds himself breaking his own rules.

For me, the film continually gives us enough to keep us interested without ever giving us enough.  Is Jung sexually frustrated at home or just tantalized by the possibility of an adoring mistress?  Did Keira Knightley’s adoring patient/mistress write those anonymous letters, bringing Jung’s reputation down?  Did Freud truly try and seduce his subordinate’s former mistress?

I wish the movie had provided those answers.  Ultimately I know that Freud died of cancer, Keira Knightley’s character (Sabine?) was shot dead by Nazis and Jung died peacefully of old age.  But the parts in between go unanswered, and I was left wishing for much more.

3 thoughts on “Movie Mention: A Dangerous Method

  1. Hi, thanks for the update on this. It seems disappointing and there is likely to be an exaggeration is some areas. Hopefully I am going to see this with my psychology class. From what I have heard from you and others, this movie has been a bit of a flop, with some people going to see it purely as Keira Knightley is in it.

  2. I would LOVE to know what the psych class makes of it all. Especially Keira’s performance when she is most troubled. It seemed rather phony to me.

    I truly enjoyed Fassbender’s performance but overall the movie frustrated me because I felt like there was SO MUCH being glossed over. It was probably just overambitious. But I felt like Viggo was almost wasted, that he was treated like window dressing, and the most interesting part of the story – Freud and Jung – was subordinated to Keira Knightley’s far less interesting character. Even what should have been juicy (the spanking) wasn’t for me, because they didn’t really show if Jung was playing along or if he was into it.

    Or come to think of it, perhaps if they’d shown the entire story through her eyes, with the two giants of psychiatry a little more in the background, it would have worked better. Because otherwise I just kept thinking, okay, Jung is getting some on the side but I really want to know more about his belief in telepathy and clairvoyance. Or, okay, Freud is surrounded by sycophants, so when did he stop helping people and just become an institution? Maybe I am the only person who found their discussion of dreams more interesting than Fass spanking Keira.

  3. I shall get back to you with what the class think, we haven’t watched it yet though.
    You are probably right about things being phony and glossed over, after all it is Hollywood, and although I am a fan of Hollywood and all the movies that come from there, they have to appeal to a large audience…
    You’re idea on how the movie should have been made sounds interesting and perhaps a much better way of telling the story. Maybe there will be a remake at some point in the future, or even a completely different movie on the same subject?

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