Friday, January 20, 2012

A Dangerous Method

The movie, 'A Dangerous Method', though first released in Venice in September of 2011, has been in theaters in the US only since early December. 
Hardly advertised, I got to know of this movie from Vish who thought the subject would interest me - A Dangerous Method explores the tempestuous relationship between an emerging 'psyche-analyst', Carl Jung; his mentor and the founder of 'psychoanalysis', Sigmund Freud; and the patient who later goes on to become one of the first female psychoanalysts, Sabina Spielrein. 

The movie is fascinating and very interesting. The eve of World War I forms the backdrop of the evolving practices of psychiatry. While Freud is determined in his focus on repressed sexuality as a cause for psychological disorders, Jung wants to broaden those boundaries by bringing in mysticism and the heroism and superiority of the analyst. Sabina comes out of her insanity and brings together Freud's 'death drive' and Jung's 'transformation' in a new perspective influencing both men. The context of the impeding war, the religion and class conflicts (Freud and Sabina were Jews, Jung was married rich), the analysts' own incapability to deal with 'transference', and the vulnerability of one's own desires bring in a heady concoction - but for only those who are versed with the history if psychoanalysis.

Though the movie is quite well directed and does bring out the incompleteness of the entwined relationships -  coming together of the characters and their falling apart for ever, creating history every moment - it does not give sufficient time for the development of conflicts and tensions. Given that the rolling time is a little less 100 minutes, the story telling obviously cannot deep dive into details - thus leaving it to the viewers to understand the complications and the enormity of the problems between the characters.

The final verdict - Like I said, if you have read well enough on the subject, you will definitely appreciate the movie - one of the very few of its kind. And if you don't have a clue on Jung and Freud, I suggest you take the time out to read on them, and then go watch the movie. Their histories are very enthralling and enable you to chart the progression of varied theories of psychoanalysis that have affected and moulded the 'modern thought'.

[Image source: Google Images]


  1. I have been meaning to watch this movie.

    I just finished reading a book about Freud & Jung so this movie will be interesting to watch.. :)

  2. looks interesting , i have always liked psychological movies so I will watch this one and see if I understand it or not :)



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