David Cronenberg has always been one of the directors that never fails to draw out many mixed reactions and emotions from his viewers. I never heard too much about this film, only in passing here and there. I did know that it was a Cronenberg film, and that in itself was enough to capture my interest. For some odd reason I had been procrastinating when it came to viewing A Dangerous Method. The story is about C.G. Jung and Sigmund Freud and how the birth of psychoanalysis took place. Keira Knightly is a real standout amongst what is a small but exceptional cast. She plays the role of a hysterical patient of Jung’s who eventually studies psychology to become a doctor herself. She and the married Jung fall for each other and this causes many complications in the story. Jung and Freud’s rivalry is looked at in depth. Knightly’s performance in this film truly kept me engaged the entire time, especially in the early stages of what is an otherwise, slow, deliberate, dialogue-heavy drama. I have never seen her perform in this way. Not only was she able to hold her own with two other top notch actors in Fassbender and Mortessen, but in actual fact, she even stole most of the scenes she was in. Her portrayal of a hysterical, and disturbed, but brilliant woman was, chilling at times and awe-inducing.
Michael Fassbender continues to impress me more and more with every film of his I see. Viggo Mortessen played the role of Freud perfectly to the point where I even forgot it was him acting it. A Dangerous Method requires some patience and a real genuine interest in the subject matter. Strong performances were also very much required and were delivered in spades here. I have only had a passing interest in Freud and Jung in the past, but this film his increased that tenfold and I will likely revisit some of the brilliant, ground-breaking work by these men. If you are a fan of Cronenberg’s work, you owe it to yourself to give this one a chance. Make sure you watch it fully alert and awake in order to get the most out of it. At the very least you will get to watch three outstanding actors at the top of their game.