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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: March 27: A Dangerous Method


March 27: A Dangerous Method

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

   A Dangerous Method is a tricky little film. It's filmed beautifully with terrific acting and a great score, but the movie as a whole is just... boring. The pacing is terrible and, before you have time to readjust to the time and setting, it shifts forward to another year. Part of the movie made me think that the filmmakers expected you to already know a good amount about Freud and Jung beforehand. And yes, the two both led lives that scream "make a biopic about me!", but their genius can't be bottled into a 100 minute film. With every jump forward in time, you're immediately trying to catch up on the events unfolding. It's like reading a book that skips chapters and you only have a vague idea of what's going on. It's not that A Dangerous Method is confusing, it's just lacking depth. 

It's like Great Illustrated Classics- pretty pictures, but you know all of King Arthur can't be explained in 100 pages... with big font. 

   The best part of A Dangerous Method is the acting. Michael Fassbender is excellent as Carl Jung and I would have loved to see a film completely focusing on him, his life, and more detailing of his studies. Kiera Knightley is exceptional, yet terrifying, as Sabina Spielrein, a hysterical woman who becomes one of Jung's patients and then mistress. She becomes the final wedge that splits the friendship of Jung and Freud, and her presence is the central conflict of the film. Her fits of hysteria are hard to watch, as she transforms her face and body into someone who is clearly in pain. Viggo Mortensen is fairly good as Sigmund Freud, but I couldn't help but think of all the other actors who could have played him better (Christoph Waltz, Geoffrey Rush, Ed Harris). However, A Dangerous Method is a perfect example of a movie that can't be saved by the cast. 

Ms. Knightley sure knows how to pick 'em. 

   Overall, A Dangerous Method is not necessarily a bad film, just severely lacking of greatness. It looks pretty, sounds pretty, and is acted well, but with a poor script and pacing, it's no instant classic. A lot of the subject matter is interesting and learning a little bit about how Jung and Freud thought is interesting, but you can't help but think of how much more involved the film could have been. A movie that could have been excellent and award worthy turns into a messy love story that leaves too much to be explained and desired. 

The Good: 
terrific acting all around, especially from Kieria Knightley
The Bad:
the film's pacing- one would think the film would be much better as a miniseries or three hour long movie
The Ugly:
actually thinking more would be better, then realizing the entire story could and should have been told completely differently

Overall: 5.2/10

Best Quote:
Carl Jung: Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable... just to be able to go on living. 


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