‘A Dangerous Method’ Review

Director: David Cronenberg

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen, and Keira Knightley

Plot: The friendship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud is explored while Jung starts an inappropriate relationship with one of his patients


I thought the relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud would be interesting. They are two of the most inquisitive minds when it comes to understanding human behavior. Instead, what we get is a very clinical discourse of dialog. They were more like humorless aliens poking and prodding the human race. It is as if their years of studying textbook observations it has neutered them to human compassion. Of course, Viggo Mortenson, in the role of Sigmund Freud, injects a lot of dry humor to their conversations.

In a way though, this neutered sense of humanity in the characters makes Jung’s relationship with Keira Knightley’s patient character even that more interesting. Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley have as much chemistry as two socially broken people could possibly have. Jung’s sexual out bursts are a sight to see.

Keira Knightley is the actor who really shines here. In the beginning her accent and strange behavior was incredibly agitating. If she were to stick with that the whole runtime, I would be singing a very different tune. The evolution of the character is what really sells her performance. She gets better and better as time goes on. Every once in a while, especially during very stressful times, she seems to slide back into those weird facial ticks.

This is definitely not Cronenberg’s best work. Between the subject matter and talent involved, I expected it to fit right in with Cronenberg’s less surreal more recent work (A History of Violence, Eastern Promise), but it falls way short. It is still a Cronenberg film, so it is deftly put together, It just unfortunately suffers from limitations inherent to the premise.

FIVE out of TEN