Monday, 6 February 2012
A Dangerous Method is Cronenberg's glossy examination of the troubled relationship between crazy Carl Jung and single minded Sigmund Freud. Jung, while enthralled by his master's revolutionary thinking, embarks on a foolish affair with one of his more attractive patients which presages/underpins the intellectual feud between the two men. Fassbender, Mortensen and Knightly take the main roles in this little psychodrama and perform reasonably well however their accents do drift towards pastiche at times. There is a couple of intentionally humorous moments at the start and given the pomposity of the subject it's a shame Cronenberg didn't continue along in that vein. I dunno it's a very watchable film and probably a quite good primer to the two thinkers and the milieu that they lived and worked in but it wasn't exactly revelatory and I was a little underwhelmed by the end, the only highlight I guess was watching Knightly getting spanked.
John Huston's Freud: A Secret Passion is a more comprehensive look at the early life and work of the famed nut doctor. Following his career from his association with Josef Breuer and their investigation of neuroses using hypnosis, his subsequent therapeutic 'successes' and onto the development of his barmy theory of Infantile Sexuality and it's riotous debut. Huston keeps things rolling at a decent pace and doesn't bother his cast with the comedy accents but uses a single patient, played by the stunning Susannah York, to elucidate most of Freud's theories which is a little odd and unnecessary. If you're wanting to learn a bit more about how Sigmund developed his ground breaking theories it's probably a better watch than Cronenberg's effort but it's not nearly as pretty to look at and almost an hour longer.