The TV Series Review Vol. 4 No. 6: “Freud”

Hypnosis, historical fiction, and a Sherlock-like case in “Freud.”

“You hear my voice and you see the pendulum.” The medical world is laughing at Doctor Sigmund Freud and his hypnosis technique. Then the doctor meets Fleur Salome, a Hungarian medium, and an opportunity has opened for him to prove his theory to the world. But in order to write a book about Fleur and hypnotism, he must defy the order of the Austrian king.

To make it clear, this is not a biography of Sigmund Freud. Many Netflix viewers will be confused about the first few episodes without knowing this tidbit. For years, many have been intrigued by Freud’s life. Crime-based stories have been created around his life. In Marvin Kren’s “Freud,” the man was turned into a cocaine-addicted doctor transformed into a Sherlock Holmes with hypnosis as his “power.” Kren is its director so yes, this is horror fiction, not at all a Freud biography.

No use knowing the real-life Sigmund Freud here. The story begins when Dr. Freud, played by Robert Finster, attends a seance hosted by Countess Sophia (Anja Kling). After that night, the murders began. You can basically guess the culprit here. With Hungarian medium Fleur Salome (Ella Rumpf), Freud will find himself in the middle of the mystery. To solve the murder cases, he will need to use hypnosis, the technique his fellow doctors scoffed at. Freud was turned into a superhero in this series, one who must weave into various subplots leading to the plans to bring the Austrian monarchy down.

Finster is perfect in his role as Freud. Amid the craziness of the story, or perhaps because of it, I was captivated by how Finster played the character of a drug-addicted, almost horny doctor. The depth of his portrayal of Freud in this series is, for lack of a better word, just plain awesome.

Geek Rate

ares-512Geek Rate: Mortal Worthy (3 out of 5 stars). I think it’s fair game to use a well-known figure in history as a protagonist to a fictional story. Many movies and series have done that. But Kren’s “Freud” is just too much. Viewers will be lost in its dark theme, goriness, and, to be blunt, plain ridiculousness of the whole narrative. Which could not be saved even by placing well-known historical accounts in every episode. The saving grace in the series was the actors’ performance. They were just captivating to watch. So much so that the audience will be deep in their stories without even noticing.

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