MONSTERS of the mind; A Dangerous Method pits two titans of the early psychoanalysis theory against one another as they wrestle to see which theory will dominate.
Is life all really about sex as Sigmund Freud claims or is there more to it all as growing rival Carl Jung suspects?
Based on true events and theories, Keira Knightley stars as Sabina Spielrein, the patient that first brought the two leading theorists together and then pitted them against each other after she became Jung's lover.
Knightly gives a disturbingly,confrontational and alarmingly physical performance as Spielrein.
She is almost unrecognizable as she grunts, writhes, gasps all the while her body contorting, her chin jutting out at extreme angles.
It is thoroughly unsettling and very confrontational but her performance is brilliantly executed at all times despite her character at times being cold, distant and almost unsympathetic.
Viggo Mortensen is exquisite as the wise and experienced Freud but the film largely falls on the shoulders of Michael Fassbender as the tortured soul and ambitiously desperate psychologist Jung.
He carries it well as he wrestles with his own urges and desire to heal and help.
Psychoanalysis is known as the talking cure and as such there is a lot of chatting, theorising, postulating, pondering and debating throughout the film.
But rather than leaning too far into the dull and boring category it is intelligently presented and informative.
Director David Cronenberg is known for his films which explore and plunge the depths of the mind's desire for gratification.
Here he goes right to the source and is surprisingly measured in his tone.
Not an action packed film, but thought provoking, intelligent and quietly dramatic, it does raise the question just who are the crazy ones?
A Dangerous Method
- Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Keira Knightly, Michael Fassbender
- Director: David Cronenberg
- Rated: MA 15+
- Verdict: 4/5
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