Thursday, December 8, 2011

Freudian Fail and Other Options.

even the spanking scenes in Method were lackluster.
For something as promising in filth, sin, and spanking, A Dangerous Method was a dull and mundane fake orgasm you share with the person you are about to break up with later in the day. From a director who is known for cultivating a cult status based on blood, sex, and surrealism, you would think he would have been the ideal choice to tackle psychoanalysis. Alas, it couldn't have been more sugar coated if it was a Busby Berkeley musical. I wanted it to be raw and dirty, deranged, shameful, degrading, and punishing. It was none of those things, though they managed to talk about all of those things ad nauseam and made it feel as if reading verbatim from Freud for Dummies
We open on a picturesque view from a hill in the farm lands of Switzerland where Dr. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) a well-educated and well-mannered gentlemen with good looks and charm runs a hospital for the criminally insane. He is seeking to cure these poor unfortunates with the new and controversial 'talking cure' that's been going around those parts. His first subject is a overly realized perception of mental instantly that filmmakers dressed in period clothes and tousled the hair of, I am speaking of course of none other than masturbation fodder for a whole generation and Wonderbra aficionado Keira Knightly who just can't stop screaming, damn it. The bitch has issues, let's put it that way, and strangely enough, they all stem from her being spanked by her pop pop when she was a little girl.Fancy that. Could she be more of a perfect candidate for psychotherapy? I venture nay. She's thus the perfect subject for Jung and his new 'experimental method' this 'psychoanalysis' that couldn't possibly work, well he'll prove all of them wrong, and he'll use her as his prototype. That means a lot of time alone together recalling all kinds of nasty shit. A few spank scenes worthy of a soft-core short later and they are completely in love, the student and the master. Fancy that!
Keira really outdid herself, and I'm not sure if I mean that in a positive way, call me crazy but I STILL have a problem with her playing serious roles. She chewed the scenery so hard it was almost comic. She did that under-bite and finger claws film cliche thing that just infuriates me, and overall really tried to make herself unappealing, when all she had to do was that nude scene where she and Fassbender are in bed together after coitus for all of us to see that she has the upper body of a per-pubescent boy. Regardless, she might have been the most redeeming quality of this film and this statement includes the Cronenberg and his underwhelming lackluster portrayal of three central figures in sexual psychology and psychoanalysis.
Basically it was all talk no action, which is an elementary no-no in cinema. Why the filmmakers felt the need to take nearly two hours to explain Freudian theory backwards and forwards to us like we're all idiots is beyond me, and it doesn't make for a dramatic narrative at all. It didn't even present it in a way that was remotely interesting or sparking the curiosity of the greenest Freud layman (no pun intended). Bottom line is anyone with half a high school education will know the basics of Freudian psychology.
Basically the filmmakers got frustrated with compressing almost half a century of scientific psychological research into a film so they decided to focus on making it aesthetically pleasing by throwing money at the costume and production design departments with one grand rule: make sure Keira's nipples are showing in every scene. 
This film was an enormous let down. If I can compare it to a sexual scenario which would be appropriate in this context, it would be like finally bedding that one person who you've lusted over since you were aware of your sex organ functions and never felt you were good enough to get, and though they were the hottest thing you'd ever had a wet dream about, they were the worst lay you've ever had, including your right hand on a wine-soaked evening. Definitely skip, you will not be missing anything.

Please do yourself a favor and watch Freud (1962) directed by John Huston and starring the incomparable Montgomery Clift as the titular character (no pun intended). Below is a clip. Get on it. Seriously. 

Also, you should watch the psychoanalysis-inspired film by Hitchcock called Spellbound (1945) if you haven't already, starring Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman with a cameo by Mikhail Chekhov and a dream sequence directed by Salvador Dalí. It doesn't get much better than that folks. Both films in full versions on the youtubes. 

No comments: