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Reviews & Ratings for
Mesmer More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Yess...umm....well....(clears throat)...

Author: StregaNona from United States
15 January 2005

I saw this movie because I am deeply interested in Franz Anton Mesmer, and deeply interested in Alan Rickman. From a biased perspective, I want to give this movie a 10, however, I feel I need to be fair to the majority.

As far as Alan Rickman; he as always, shines. If you are a fan of Alan Rickman, see this movie. He simply does not disappoint, EVER, in my opinion. He is one of those rare people who is just "odd" enough, to always be interesting..(coughs...and sexy..). It has been argued that Rickman can be "melodramatic", which is kind of an oxymoron being that he is an "actor", however in this case the script was poorly written. Sadly, Rickman was left with very cheesy lines, which come across "melodramatic" (so sorry)! If you are 14 year old, and going through puberty, it might "mesmerize" you....might.

As far as the rest of the movie, I felt isolated from every character. I cannot quite pinpoint why this is. Was this the intention of the director? Somehow I think not...good excuse for him though.

The movie seemed too short, and inconclusive. It just kind of ended, like never quite reaching climax while making love. Again, was this the directors intention? Doubt it.

The editing was very odd, and choppy. It felt like I was watching a very long trailer, there was just something missing.

Also, as mentioned by others, it is hard to hear some of Rickman's dialogue. I do not find this a flaw because it illustrates Mesmer's character and personality...however, turn your volume very high.

If you are a fan of period films, and/or Rickman, watch the "eye candy." Otherwise you may be disappointed.

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Watch it for Alan Rickman's performance

Author: wnterstar from United States
22 January 2005

This is one of those films that should have been good, but wasn't. I have heard that they had major financial problems and, had there been a better budget, the movie could have been infinitely better.

Alan Rickman's performance as Mesmer is riveting. I can't imagine anyone's voice being better for this part! I could listen to Rickman read the phone book!! My other beef with this movie is the ending. It doesn't just stops, leaving the viewer feeling like they missed something.

The costumes and the scenery are breath-taking, but that can't redeem it totally.

Not even Alan Rickman's voice can do that.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Doctor with a "magnetic" personality

Author: Jen (whogirl)
27 February 2000

"Mesmer" is a pretty good film. It's interesting, assuming that the film was based on some facts, to watch the increasing interest in the human mind and proverbial heart, especially their effect on the body, in the 1700s, which led up to the word of Freud and Jung a century later. The more interesting that Mesmer's perceived nonsense is in fact becoming very popular today in alternative medicine coming from the East: animal magnetism (Reiki), the harmony of the universe (Taoist belief) and the mind's effect on the body.

Amanda Ooms was good in her role as Maria Therese. Fortunately they made it easy for her to be blind by not having her walk obstacle courses. It was a pleasure to see Jan Rubes in a role other than in the children's show he did. As for the star, Rickman, it was a pleasure to see him in a title role. He's quite seductive in the film, and he uses his hands, one of this actor's greatest assets, very well. In the end, I found myself regretting very much that F.A. Mesmer had no effect on the medical profession of his day. He could have prevented a lot of suffering.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Interesting Biography of a Complicated 'Psychiatrist'

Author: Alice C Brown ( from Boston, Ma.
28 May 1999

Was he a charlatan or a revolutionary in treating diseases of the mind? Hard to say, even after seeing the beautifully photographed movie. Our hindsight perspective is 100% but in the days of leeching, and bleeding to cure peoples' ills, the fact that he showed patients great attention and compassion was certainly a change. Mad people were usually penned up in Bedlam or some other horrid pigsty. Here, he is attempting bravely to take another tact in the unknown mysteries of mental illness. This movie also gives the scam-like aspects of his personality, as he beguiles the royal courtiers with his water therapies, touching them and arousing them, thus giving the semblance of 'healing'. I was reminded of the old-time revivals, and the sexy preachers coming close, putting hands-on the afflicted and shouting 'heal' and 'Hallelujah, sistuh'. Of course, if you're a repressed 'respectable woman', this is the only intimate way you can let a man not your husband touch you. His shrew of a wife, and utterly spiritually retarded stepson is beautifully played. I also like any movie that shows parts of the world I haven't seen, and this one gives us Vienna, parts of France and the costumes of 18th Century European civilization. It is NOT your everyday movie!!!! I would suggest viewing this one in series with bio-pics of Sigmund Freud and some of the other fighters of mental illness. Rickman is indeed magnetic in this one.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Worth seeing for the glass armonica!

Author: fortunaa from Biel, Switzerland
15 July 2001

Rickman saves the film. What can you say about a visually elegant, period piece with an unworthy script? It's a shame, because the glass armonica (a Ben Franklin invention) is authentic-looking and sounds eerily lovely. This film is worth renting just for that feature! I saw an armonica player at Colonial Williamsburg and was -- er -- mesmerized. It's a long, glass instrument that is played by spinning it in water. Hard to explain but so haunting, you'll never forget it. Also, there's a compelling scene when Mesmer leads a group of the lame and blind in a circle, so full of hope, and yet so very lost. Rickman looks wonderful whirling about in all those natty cloaks. He's the perfect Mesmer, in search of a script worthy of his gifts.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The way the subject was handled left me, yes, disappointed.

Author: Hazle from North Carolina
19 December 2001

The jacket looked interesting and the subject matter is definitely interesting, but.....I found the movie disappointing....True, the main characters had situations that should have kept the viewer intent on the outcome, but.....the way it was handled left me, yes, disappointed. Also, there are many parts in the movie where the dialog is presented at so low a volume that I could not catch it all, a lot was almost mumbled....??? why??? for intimacy? I could not understand just exactly WHAT Mesmer's theory really was, except for the fact that in the end he confesses that as a child he saw that all of creation was in harmony except for people and he tried to relieve the pain and suffering he saw in humanity.....The psychological state of the blind pianist was indeed interesting though. The costumes of the period ARE worth seeing and by watching the way mental illness was handled in that day, one comes away thankful the same conditions do not exist now. Doctor Mesmer reacted to the suffering of others and was out of the norm in his treatment of them, but something was missing. It does show his empathy.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Odd...very odd

Author: curlewfeather
26 July 2009

'Mesmer' is an odd movie. On the face of it you'd think it would work quite well – beautiful period setting, interesting character, a score by Michael Nyman and Rickman, who makes a very charismatic lead. Unfortunately it went a bit wrong somewhere down the line and, as others have pointed out, it is quite hard to define where.

For me the two main players of the cast did a great job. Rickman presented Mesmer as charming but complex; Ooms brought plenty of emotion to her role as the blind pianist. Beyond this, however, there seemed little character development not helped by the relatively short runtime.

The plot just seemed...well...dull. There was very little feeling of direction and most of the scenes were very static affairs. There also seemed to be lots of duplication of material as Mesmer treated numerous people in, what looked like, very similar ways. Occasional slapstick moments, one in particular involving a certain throat complaint coming at the end of one of the most absorbing scenes in the movie, somewhat destroyed the tone. Another was a brief appearance of a very caricatured Marie Antoinette. Both seemed rather out of place and had the effect of pushing the extraordinary events of the story into absurdity.

Watch this film for the cast alone. As for the plot: if you know a little about Mesmer before watching you may find it more absorbing but for a novice like me there seemed very little substance beneath that beautiful period setting.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

see this movie for alan rickman's performance/ to hear him

Author: suzmd from Virginia, USA
10 April 2004

the movie is flawed, no doubt about it. i was able to make sense of some of it only by going outside the movie and trying to find out more. no matter though. even though i didn't understand certain scenes or references, i watched this 3 times and finally made myself stop. it's addicting.

it's rickman's voice--it's like a sex organ. nowhere more than in this movie. always his voice is compelling but in this movie it's heady/erotic/powerful.

see this movie if you like rickman. you'll be glad you did.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Looks good...but that is it.

Author: Twisted_GloomCookie from United Kingdom
21 January 2008

I've read other reviews of this film which state that the only good thing in it is Alan Rickman and I am inclined to agree. The directing is poor, the storyline dismal and the script is terrible which isn't helped by poor audio levels. There weren't any subtitles on my DVD so I had no idea what was said for the majority of the movie. Even Alan Rickman wasn't enough to make this interesting because his acting wasn't of his usual standard. When he isn't overacting in an attempt to liven a dull film up, he is sat staring morbidly into space attempting to look moody...and it doesn't work. Nor is he supported by the rest of the cast or even the directing.

The only reason anybody would buy this is because Alan Rickman looks handsome in it. It has nothing else going for it.

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A little slow-paced and fragmented, but Alan Rickman's and others' performances are worth watching

Author: vertigogirl21 from Hungary
14 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I agree with those saying the film is uneven. It might be due to the script, the editing as well as the directing, each of which could have been much better I suppose. As for me, if the creators had been able to decide what they wanted to tell us from Mesmer's story, if it were a bit more well-paced and the script better elaborated on, it could be a good film.

I had heard a lot of criticism about it before claiming Alan Rickman was the only good thing in it. Yes, of course, Alan Rickman is mesmerizing, but although I am a fan I don't think either he could save the whole film or he was the sole good thing in it. To give the movie a bit more credit, I think Amanda Ooms was also excellent in her portrayal of the blind patient - and as there is much more to her character than just that, I think the basic idea of the story is excellent - if only it had been explored and elaborated on more subtly.

In addition, Alan's performance can be seen just as uneven as the story-telling, although I'm sure it is the screenwriter and the director's fault. The fragmented sketches of sometimes seemingly random occurrences of Mesmer's life and career left Alan Rickman with not much space for a coherent performance. Still, he does his best in every shot and his versatility shines through. I l-o-v-e the amplitude of the energy and the restraint he can display, I just love this in an actor! He is able to express the extremes without being over-the-top, this is first-class. (Though I know he doesn't need a pat on the shoulder from me, I'm just fascinated by his acting :).)

All in all, I think the film as a whole is better than I expected though it misses a real point, and the performances are worth seeing, not to mention the beautiful cinematography and the landscape (both Hungarian, so I might be seen as biased but I'm sure I'm not :)).

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