A Dangerous Method

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Whenever David Cronenberg’s name is attached to a film (The Fly, Dead Ringers, A History of Violence), you know you’re entering a bizarre world of strange neuroses and often fringe science. A Dangerous Method explores the foundation of psychoanalysis and the increasingly strained relationship between Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and their philosophical disagreements. As the married Jung employs Freud’s methods, he finds himself battling the repressions of his affections toward one of his patients (Keira Knightley). The movie is mostly a character study of the conflicted Jung, a psychoanalytical study of his own psyche.

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Some frank discussions of sex are cut in the ClearPlayed version,as are several explicit sensual scenes. Kids won’t have the patience for this largely internal story. Many adults won’t, either. I found it strangely intoxicating.

So what’s the analysis of this Method, doctor?…

Although A Dangerous Method dwells on dreams and the mind, it is very grounded in the everyday, peculiar for a Cronenberg movie. Talkie and dialogue–heavy, but always with a penchant for symbolism: Characters represent the ego, id and superego in a way that is still satisfying … if you’re a big fan of Psychology Today. Fortunately, the movie rental is a bargain, unlike $100–per–hour with a real doctor.

Marty Nabhan—ClearPlay Analyst
Rated R for sexual content and brief language; 99 min; Directed by David Cronenberg
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