Mesmer review or how wading through actors’ filmographies usually leads to watching some pretty bad movies ;)


Mesmer (Austria/Canada/UK/Germany, 1994)

Seen: Saturday, 14th February 2009 (DVD)
Runtime: 101′
Director: Roger Spottiswoode
Cast: Alan Rickman, Amanda Ooms
Production House: Accent Entertainment Corporation, Deutsche Film (DEFA), Levergreen, Mayfair Entertainment International, Satel Film, Studio Babelsberg
Plot: The story of Franz Anton Mesmer - an Austrian doctor, who was born in the 18th century and had very unconventional ideas about treating patients. His ideas led to the discovery of hypnosis in the 19th century and the English word mesmerize comes from his name.


Impressions In Short
Really bad ;)

More About the Film
The subject matter is great. I just read through the wikipedia entry about Mesmer and it’s fascinating - perfect material for a film. But having watched the film I would have never guessed the story behind it was so good :]
The way it was told was just so dry and flat and IMO it didn’t have much of a cinematic style either. I felt that particularly the healing scenes needed some quirky camerawork and editing. The only thing I liked about the film was Michael Nyman’s music.
I guess Alan Rickman’s performance is sort of interesting. He’s really good with the quiet scenes - I mean like when he’s just looking at something and the camera keeps him in close shot. There’s a lot of intensity there. But personally I felt he wasn’t the best choice for this part. He’s a very restrained sort of actor (something I totally love about him - I don’t mean it in a bad way). Mesmer on the other hand is a very outgoing kind of part - there’s a lot of touching, a lot of showing off in front of audiences and his whole healing procedure is about “letting go”. So I think choosing Alan Rickman for a part like that is a little weird, but whatever. Maybe I’m missing something. Not that he was bad, but I think I would have preferred a more outgoing kind of actor in this part.

Er, no - I would recommend everyone to stay away from this film ;-P Don’t watch it unless you’re a reaaally die hard fan of Alan Rickman (haha, I only just realized what I wrote - pun was unintended ;)).

Leave a comment