Spider (2002) starring Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave directed by David Cronenberg Movie Review

Spider (2002)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Ralph Fiennes in Spider (2002)

Round and Round in Circles

Having been released from a mental hospital Spider (Ralph Fiennes) arrives at a half way house in London to try and become part of the outside world. But clearly struggling Spider is tormented by the memories of the past with various things triggering painful memories of his childhood and those close to him who died.

Why does a movie reviewer write reviews, especially of movies they don't like? The answer is so that movie fans who find they have similar tastes will know whether or not a movie is for them. Sounds simple doesn't it but as a movie reviewer the amount of insults you take when you write some thing negative about a loved movie is ridiculous even when you justify your negativity. Why do I mention this? Well it seems that there are those who are impressed by David Cronenberg's "Spider", but I am not one of them and whilst it starts of interesting it turns into a bore.

You see "Spider" is about a man who when we meet we know little about but can quickly pass judgement on him due to his shuffling, nervous walk and his constant mumbling. We guess that he has mental issues and as the movie progresses we learn more about him, how he has been in a mental hospital, how his short tempered father slept around and so on. And for a while this paints an incredibly realistic portrait of a man tormented by his memories with Ralph Fiennes delivering a frighteningly effective performance of an unstable man. But the trouble is that it goes nowhere and so whilst there are clever touches such as Miranda Richardson playing dual parts to reinforce Spider's fuzzy memory it becomes a bore when all you get is reiteration. If only "Spider" had gone somewhere, had a narrative to follow rather than a character to explore maybe it would have been more engaging.

What this all boils down to is that for the first 30 minutes "Spider" is a fascinating look at a man tortured by his memories, but after that it doesn't go anywhere and that is when it sadly begins to bore those who need more than a character study despite featuring an effective performance from Ralph Fiennes.