I didn’t know what to make of this film before I saw it. All I knew was that the film documents the friendship and ultimate rivalry between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud, and that somewhere in the course of treating a mentally ill patient, Jung begins an inappropriate sexual relationship with the woman. In all honesty, it’s a mildly interesting story about some pretty childish behavior from arguably two of the greatest minds of the 20th century.
The year is 1904. Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) is working at a Swiss psychiatric clinic when he is delivered a violent and psychotic Russian woman, Sabina (Keira Knightley in a spectacular demonstration of over-acting). After several sessions, Jung discovers that the woman’s sexual dysfunction stems from early childhood abuse, and voila, she is cured. It is then—after some unwanted advice from a sketchy colleague (Vincent Cassel)—Jung succumbs to temptation and begins a heated affair. Meanwhile, he also is locking horns with Freud (Viggo Mortensen) over the breadth of their field.
I have to say Keira Knightley is so thin with such a large head that it’s hard to watch her. It’s like watching a giant talking candy apple. Mortensen and Fassbender both deliver admirable performances, but the story itself is lacking. I get it. The sex act is both creative and destructive, and our lives are peppered with lust and sexual innuendo. Of course, Freud did say that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. It's a 5.