Thursday, December 29, 2011

Movies: A Dangerous Method

There is no commonly agreed science, there are just competing ideas & theories. This is especially true for psychology, a social science which is based on a lot of interpretation and musing. This science is still formed by the conflict between the schools of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, the founding fathers of modern psychology & psychiatry. The movie "A Dangerous Mind" touches this conflict (imdb).

Director David Cronenberg, Scriptwriter Christopher Hampton (Atonement) and John Kerr, the author of the basically book, focus on Jung´s relationship with a female patient (played by Keira Knightley), who became his lover & muse.

I enjoyed the nostalgic style of the flick. It was nice to watch the reincarnation of Europe before World War I, especially Z├╝rich & Vienna. The performances of Michael Fassbender (Jung) and Viggo Mortensen (Freud) were flawless. But I had my problems with the role of the beautiful Keira Knightley who meandered between a heavy mentally disturbed person and an analytic and scientific arguing observer. Especially her facial expressions while her mental attacks seemed to me overdone and were almost unbearable.

There was another point I disliked: The plot focusses on Jung and puts his antagonist Freud in the shadow. I guess the creator of psychoanalysis (wikipedia) deserves more than a role as a kind of collaborator of Jung´s amorous travails.

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