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A Dangerous Method [Blu-Ray]

Directed by David Cronenberg

> > Mar 27 2012

A Dangerous Method [Blu-Ray] - Directed by David Cronenberg
By Robert BellAlmost as profound as the film itself is the limited reaction and lack of perspective demonstrated by the viewer when confronted with an origin story and borderline satire of psychoanalysis, which, as it stands, is the dominant Western religion of the 20th Century. Being immersed in the ubiquity of dime store categorizations, identity analysis and a (medically) prescribed notion of socially perceived normalcy, there's an inability to distance oneself from the concept of treatable human psychology as a subjugate mode of control and forced assimilation. It's a concept tackled with a shrewd eye and a self-conscious raised eyebrow in Cronenberg's exceedingly underrated and cognitive biopic, A Dangerous Method, wherein Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) butt heads about the notion of curing perceived psychological ailments as playing God, which is noted as a natural patricidal impulse. Their discussions about neuroses as defined by sexual repression are exacerbated and made comically hypocritical by the hysterical, but highly educated Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), who acts as a test subject for Jung on his newfangled application of Freud's "talking" theory. A student of psychoanalysis, Sabina theorizes that sexuality is a self-annihilating act that contradicts the ego, which pertains cinematically to her masochistic, passive sexual relationship with the amusingly hypocritical Jung ― her doctor or God ― who speculates that neuroses can't all be about sex, while himself balancing repression with desire. Representing the id impulse as a mode of avoiding neuroses as prescribed by Freud's theories is Otto Gross (Vincent Cassel), a man championed in his time for an anarchic variation on depth psychology, only to theoretically implode as a proto-hippie, considering only the self without assessing social responsibility. What's amusing is that each psychological perspective or theory, as acknowledged within the film, is entirely solipsistic and representative of each character type in relation to their action. Applying this to the broad acceptance of these theories as universal truths in present day is what makes this eerily clinical, exact and overly blanched movie so much more than a mere biopic. For example, both Freud and Jung use their respective theoretical stances as a means of self-aggrandizing identity, categorizing their patient as ill for their difference while creating an unbalanced power dynamic to reinforce their notion of rightness, or Godliness. And if we really think about it, this concept of normalcy as a repressive and controlling tool is really little more than another, more verbose mode of religion used to simplify annihilation anxieties and reward "God's" sycophants for modifying their identity into that of the collective. Included with the Blu-Ray are a series of interviews with Cronenberg and the many actors, which touches mostly upon the superficial with a lot of complementary banter, along with a B-roll that is literally 20 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage on the set and during the scoring of music.
(eOne)
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