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Good Story, Bad Movie – A Dangerous Method

April 27, 2012

January 31st, 2012

Well, I wouldn’t really call it bad, per se – it was just not good.                    

A Dangerous Method is based on a true story, one that depicts the relationship Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) had with Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). Without going into too much detail, the movie seemed – well, at least to me it did – to be a collection of moments in Jung’s adulthood. Though the movie boasts that it is depicts the relationship between Jung and Freud, it seemed biased towards Jung’s point of view. Halfway through the movie, it became obvious to me that Jung was portrayed as the main character, while Sabina Spielrein (Kiera Knightly) and Freud were just supporting characters.

Was it worth 12.99$ plus tax? Well no, probably not. But then again, not very many movies are worth 12.99$ plus tax. I’d say, the only movies that are worth going to see on the big screen for 12.99$ plus tax are… Forrest Gump, Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail, and just about any other Tom Hanks movie ever made (and will be made). But even those movies I did not see in theatres – I own most of them on VHS.

A Dangerous Method

Anyway, enough about the general stuff. Let’s get down to the specifics. Fassbender’s acting was formidable. Mortensen’s acting was ordinary; there’s nothing in particular to point out. Truthfully, I was so overwhelmed by the copious amount of scenes centering around Fassbender and Knightly that I didn’t even really pay attention to Mortensen; I am even surprised to see his name listed first on the poster for the movie! What really stood out to me was Knightly’s inadequate portrayal of a crazy woman. Seriously, my left eye was raised for the majority of the beginning – eyebrows furrowed and everything. I found it unbelievable. How do I know when an actor/actress is putting on a good performance? When I don’t find myself wondering what the actor/actress is thinking while he/she is acting. Because when you put on a good performance, you don’t think, you just do.

Under Trivia on IMDb, it says the following:

“According to Kiera Knightley, at first she didn’t know how to play her character’s hysteria. When she read some of Spielrein’s notes she noticed the woman described her condition as being like ‘a demon or a dog’. Knightley then started to pull faces and contacted David Cronenberg (director of the movie) through Skype to show him the results until they both agreed on one.”

Well, the “one” that they chose was not believable and satisfying at all. I think that she still doesn’t “know how to play her character’s hysteria” – what a shame. Maybe their Internet connection was bad (like ours at the apartment – but that’s a story for another time). Maybe it was so bad that he couldn’t really see, via Skype, what face she was indeed making.

Anyway, it was a good story. I enjoyed it, but only because I knew it was real once upon a time. If it hadn’t been real, I would not have cared. Overall, I give it a 3.5/5. Worth seeing if you’re interested in movies-based-on-true-stories and/or psychology. Not worth seeing if you’re a movie fanatic and the kind of person who call “movie-watching” an art.

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