Tag Archives: A Dangerous Method

A Dangerous Method – Kiera Knightley (et al) let the side down!

I know that there are many other blogs & reviews doing the rounds with the upcoming release of the film “A Dangerous method” … I have scoured many blogs and reviews worldwide to see what this might be like as of course it has 2 infamous scenes of Keira Knightley (a woman in REAL need of a damned hard spanking in real life) so what a drag, then, to report that it appears that this film seems misconceived… I majored in Pyschology many moons ago) and from what I’ve read, it feels like a surface treatment of ideas that deserve so much better. Scripted by Christopher Hampton from his own play “The Talking Cure” and the John Kerr book “A Most Dangerous Method,” this is a film that tip toes around its subject to such a degree that from many commentators I have read, seems to infuriate them! I don’t understand how you make a movie about this subject matter that has no kink, no heat and no pulse when the ingredients are all there! Viggo Mortensen, one of the most interesting collaborators that Cronenberg has ever had, is almost wasted here. He plays Freud, showing up from time to time to deliver a few clever lines and to “tut-tut” Michael Fassbender’s Jung.

So what’s it about? The film deals with Jung and his treatment of a particular patient, a Russian Jew named Sabina Spielrein. Kiera Knightley plays her, and while I’m not the biggest fan of Knightley’s work in general (she is incredibly striking, a real beauty but her acting can come across as far too wooden for my personal tastes). I still think Atonement was her best film she made… but of course, my interest in this film are the scenes we’ve all heard about! Fassbender has proven himself to be one of the more interesting guys out there right now, and yet this role is a straightjacket for him, rigid and uninteresting. Jung’s meant to be struggling with his intellectual and sexual sides in the film. If a film can make a scene involving Fassbender spanking a mostly-naked Knightley boring, something has gone very wrong and that seems to be the general consensus out there!

As always, Cronenberg’s films are controlled and carefully considered, and it feels like he got what he wanted from his cast. It just seems to be a case of a misfire at the conceptual level. There’s one stretch in the film where things threaten to heat up, when Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel) shows up at Jung’s clinic, and every time Cassel is onscreen, it’s interesting. Watch him move around Jung’s office during their first interview. It’s impossible to take your eyes off of what Cassel is doing. But the rest of the film just doesn’t have that same spark, that sense of something lived instead of designed. It feels antiseptic. It feels like a term paper that someone filmed.

Vincent Cassel an (equally) challenging patient with far more interesting things on his mind!

There are plenty of reviews out there and free previews, there are reports that Keira Knightley really acted the “Diva” in this expecting this nasty kink to be done as quickly and painlessly as possible… sadly, by the sounds of it, it shows, it still won’t stop me from going to watch it as it’s a fascinating subject. I have a lot of respect for Cronenberg as a filmmaker, but I’m worried that this film might be a dud he least expected with such a cast and a hell of a story (which of course happened to be a true account of a forbidden relationship between a respected doctor and his patient!) Oh well… maybe Miss Knightley will get it one day, eh? *sigh*

A free preview of this is below… coming soon to cinemas worldwide!