DVD Review – A Dangerous Method
In recent years Cronenberg has shied away from the body-horror that he is renowned for and his latest drama to be release on Blu-ray and DVD, A Dangerous Method continues this trend, but is it as gripping as his earlier films? Tom finds out…
A biographical drama on the lives of Sigmund Freud and Karl Jeung during the birth of psychoanalysis is bound to take a few liberties with the truth in order to provide the viewer with a more engrossing experience but this does not detract from what is an intriguing and compelling film. Cronenberg has worked with both Viggo Mortensen and Vincent Cassell before but adds Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightley into the mix in what has turned out to be an inspired casting decision.
The ever-changing relationships between Freud (Mortensen), Jung (Fassbender) and Spielrein (Knightley) is a fascinating triangle of deceit and discovery as the two doctors wrestle with each other’s ideas in an attempt to cure Spielrein of her psychological problems and fuel her ambitions to become a doctor. Vincent Cassell plays a brief but important role as Otto Goss, a patient of Jung’s who puts forward an alternative point of view which eventually leads to Jung crossing the boundary between his patients and his personal life.
Those unfamiliar with the background of psychoanalysis should still find the plot easy to follow as explanations are provided throughout with conversations between the two doctors often hinging around the rudimentary principles of the subject. It is not a topic I am overly familiar with but the plot was easy to follow despite the somewhat academic subject matter, and the gorgeous settings and incredible acting combined with the captivating story to create a unique vision that only Cronenberg could pull off so well.
Knightley’s performance is a spectacular display of her dedication to acting, with her portrayal of the tormented Spielrein proving she is not afraid to step out of her comfort zone to show the more fragile side of a human being. Fassbender and Mortensen are as compelling as ever, especially Fassbender as he struggles between holding together his ailing marriage and reaching for what he truly desires whilst looking for the support of his mentor and coming to blows over their conflicting beliefs.
A Dangerous Method cannot compare with Cronenberg’s classics but it is still a fascinating look at a subject that is rarely shown on film. The hauntingly beautiful soundtrack and the memorable performances will remain with you for some time but ardent Cronenberg fans may be disappointed that his trademark shot of a gun coming out of someone’s stomach does not make the cut. If you missed A Dangeous Method in cinemas then this release is the perfect opportunity to experience an intriguing drama by one of the most interesting directors out there.
About The Author – Tom Bielby
Long time film fan and aspiring film writer, Tom is a horror fanatic who wasted far too much time at University sitting through every film in the IMDB Top 250. He is partial to foreign films and cult cinema and would love to rid the world of people who rustle their popcorn during important scenes. He can be found on Twitter under the alias @filmbantha
Are you a fan of Cronenberg’s recent work or did you prefer it when his main focus was body horror? Let us know your thoughts below..