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Dennis Clegg is in his thirties and lives in a halfway house for the mentally ill in London. Dennis, nicknamed "Spider" by his mother has been institutionalized with acute schizophrenia for some 20 years. He has never truly recovered, however, and as the story progresses we vicariously experience his increasingly fragile grip on reality. Written by
Erwin van Moll <email@example.com>
A quiet atmospheric character study of a disturbed man watching his childhood play out again before his eyes.
We watch Spider (Ralph Fiennes) at the present time, trying to live at a boarding house which takes pity on people who should legally be in mental institutions, and, in parallel action, watch him reliving his childhood, doomed to stand watching those events play out again and again, an observer as impotent as he felt when they originally happened.
This film is a mystery into the character and history of Ralph Fiennes' character. Its a little film, dealing with the mind of one troubled little man, and a patient film. Its also a very mature film from Cronenberg, where he has done away with the shock tactics of the past, and the results are delightful. But if you don't like patient films (and you might see it as a slow film - don't expect big action, expect to watch a fascinating character - and maybe discover why he's so troubled), watch any of Cronenberg's previous efforts instead.
Its not a very big or important film - not one of the most essential films of 2002, but if you've seen those more important choices, and are looking for something different, Spider may just be an interesting, atmospheric experience for you.
8/10. Maybe I was just in the perfect mood for it, but i loved Spider. I thought it was a beautiful and atmospheric character study. Spider is a real unique character, brought to life vividly by Ralph Fiennes.
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