A Dangerous Method (2011) Directed by David Cronenberg
Sex in its various forms dominates our news. Recently we've had Miley Cyrus and her new career, an exorbitant amount of nothing based on the old edifice: sex sells. Sex brings the controversy, just think of Rihanna & Shakira's latest lesbian lust fest. Doing it for girl power or doing it for the boys? It's the reason why an over-20-year-old case of child abuse/ custody battles dominates the social media pages. IT'S DIRTY & SALACIOUS. And guess what, it makes for a Twitter bonanza. Do we have a considered opinion? Who cares, everyone is else is doing it so why won't I? So Woody Allen's reputation is fully tarnished. The amount of people I've spoken to who have not followed the case but just know the equation, child abuse allegations + Woody Allen = guilty, is phenomenal. He's being vilified for starting a relationship with a much younger woman who happened to be his own kid's step sister. This is the kind of alleged sex crime we get obsessed with, and enough info for most people to brand Allen an abuser. Dirty salacious rumor, innuendo and sex obsessive behavior brings us nicely to A Dangerous Method (this kind of thing has been going on for years you know).
|James Woods & Debbie Harry in Videodrome (1983)|
|Holly Hunter in Crash (1996)|
|Fassbender as Jung & Mortensen as Freud in A Dangerous Method.|
First my preconceptions: I don't like Keira Knightley very much but I do like Viggo Mortensen. I wanted to see this movie ever since I saw the posters in early 2012 thinking it's some kind of a kinky cerebral film whereby I can enjoy porn while pretending to be high-minded...Then I had some fear, because sometimes in the past Cronenberg has really managed to make me uncomfortable.
We finally got around to this movie after my birthday, because Nick had ordered it from somewhere online as one of my gifts (but it came late and I got it another day in the mail – not as bad as last Christmas when Nick forgot to give me one of my presents and it remained in his underwear shelf until I reminded him that I thought I was getting a specific book from yet another online store..). Anyway, presents are always fun – and so was A Dangerous Method. It was fun in the way that a good old-fashioned story can be; dry storytelling with great understated acting. Not too much plot and more tension than action. Rare these days.
Most of all, the birth of psychoanalysis, Freud and Jung, the early 1900s and everything that was going on in Europe and globally is very interesting. This film chooses to depict a very small event in that time. While people still dressed differently than now, it seems that despite a more coded and rigid social structure, everything else was pretty much how it is now – a 100 years later. Keira Knightly was excellent in this movie, I will admit. Her rise from a patient into a peer (and then a lover) is very believable although of course we know that usually women did not rise into any such meaningful social role after being treated for 'hysteria'. I took a fascinating class on Freud and feminism some years ago in Uni and it has left me with a strange warmth towards his theories and their endless new interpretations.
And when he is played by Viggo Mortensen I have no objections.