Freud is a new Netflix Original series which tells the story of ambiguous psychotherapist Sigmund Freud. A series of mysterious murders in Vienna induces Freud (Robert Finster) to use his controversial hypnosis methods in collaboration with Fleur Salome’s (Ella Rumpf) medium skills in order to put a stop to the horrific crimes.
In this series, Marvin Kren uses the typical idea of a self-destructive weirdo trying to help the world and simultaneously solve personal problems. Freud is at the beginning of his journey to recognition, his methods are being ridiculed by fellow doctors leading to struggles with his mental health and a developing cocaine addiction.
Although the story itself isn’t really what you might expect from a detective drama, this series focuses on a sequence of mysterious events caused by a single mastermind. Conflictingly, antiheroes are highlighted from the first episode, and instead of trying to identify with them, viewers are left to understand their motivation.
Freud combines several elements from different genres – a mysterious thriller, a historical chronicling of a Hungarian revolution, detective, drama and so on. Even though it makes the story more intense and informative, this diversity makes the series overwhelming and difficult to comprehend.
The story of Freud develops very slowly yet keeps the viewer on their toes mainly because the majority of people are simply unaware of a legend woven into the plot. It is quite acceptable that historians or people familiar with Hungarian mythology would find the narrative dull and obvious.
There is little to say about the cast. The actors aren’t doing anything special; merely playing their parts. All of the characters feel static and emotionless, even though some of them are worked out in detail. At some point it becomes quite boring to follow their stories, as nobody really changes and develops.
An element which deserves massive praise is the sound mixing, maintaining the high level of tension throughout the episodes. The soundtrack perfectly matches the mood of the series – it doesn’t scare the audience, but definitely plays on their nerves. A variety of creaks, screeches and other creepy sounds or voice tones creates a unique atmosphere of psychosis. The visual effects leave much to be desired. Unusual quality shots from a state of trance are outweighed by shaky dialogue frames or poor city views which look like they were made with an inept usage of a green screen.
Overall, Freud is a quality piece of entertainment which will keep the audience busy for a few hours. However, it is sad that such an intriguing idea didn’t reach its potential and more likely will become ’one of the many’ and won’t stay in the audience’s mind for long after they’ve finished watching it.
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