After the poor introduction The Second Face offered to this new series, anyone would be forgiven for writing it off as a failure. However, it’s in this story where The Sigmund Freud Files seems to truly find it’s footing and follow a direction far more befitting its protagonist.
Life continues as it ever does at Freud’s office, as he waits for his next patient. Impassive but already starting to write off one of his recent appointments as a lost cause, he is interrupted as a new patient arrives, aggravated and seeking his help. Even as Freud starts to help the man however, he starts to realise there is far more to this case than he first thought, and that his life is now in the hands a distinctly unhinged client.
This is the best setting possible for Feud, leaving him facing down what should be an everyday occurrence and using his skills to resolve the situation. Rather than assisting in solving crimes, what we see here is Freud using his abilities to try and stay alive, remaining one step ahead of a dangerous individual and trying to talk them into surrender. It allows for a much more natural use of his powers, and to really put Freud front and centre as it comes to the action. As a result of this minimalist direction, the strength of the story is left to the dialogue and actors, both of which are easily Father and Son’s greatest assets. The complete conviction of the actors is truly inspiring, and even the most stoic figures are given a surprising range thanks to this.
Many elements that initially seemed clunky or out of place during The Second Face come into their element here. In the prior story, the literal voices of Freud’s id, super-ego and ego was overly clunky and poorly implemented, but here it’s used with remarkable control, using one in particular to voice Freud’s inner demons. If further helps that Freud seems more like his historical counterpart here, engaging in what he does best and analysing his assailant, slowly wearing down his defences until he reaches the man’s core failing.
Between extremely tight writing, the suggestions of a long term over-arching plot, great performances all around and an excellent use of Freud’s best skills, this is a must buy. If you have even the slightest hint of interest in the synopsis, you’re sure to get a thrill out of this one. If this is anything to go by, The Sigmund Freud Files have a bright future ahead of them.
THE SIGMUND FREUD FILES 2 – FATHER AND SON / DIRECTOR: DOUGLAS WELBAT & PATRICK SIMON / AUTHOR: HEIKO MARTENS (TRANSLATED BY ARMIN PREDIGER) / STARRING: DAVID RINTOUL, CARL PREKOPP, EMMA TATE, NICOLETTE MCKENZIE, JESS ROBINSON, ASHLEY MARGOLIS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW