David Cronenberg directed this movie, so I had high hopes that it will be as good as any of his other masterpieces. Over the years, he might have slipped more into the mainstream with movies like A History of Violence, Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method, but all those movies were exceptional and you could feel that special, extra touch that David leaves behind. Based on a novel written by Patrick McGrath, this is a journey into the mind of one man, a journey that will require unconventional thinking. Ralph Fiennes plays Spider, a quiet and slightly mentally disturbed man. He arrives to a nursing home for the slightly insane people, where he will relive his childhood and the events that made such a deep impression on him that he will carry the consequences his whole life.
Ralph Fiennes was just phenomenal in his role, it just shows his acting ability, and along with other actors he managed to realistically portray behavior of a mad man. The story is so ordinary and yet so strange, so familiar and yet so distant. We are experiencing events filtered through Spider’s mind and this particular filter is extremely strong, leaving us wondering what’s going on. There’s no anchor, so our perception and interpretations of the events unfolding is very murky. Directing is perfect as always, with great angles and beautiful movement of camera. The only thing that somewhat impaired this movie is that some people will find that the story is unraveling slowly, but that is just Cronenberg and people. Enjoy. In the end, I must mention A Beautiful Mind, a similar movie but with a mainstream approach to the same subject (mental illness).
Director: David Cronenberg
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Miranda Richardson, Gabriel Byrne, Lynn Redgrave, Philip Craig
Fun Facts: Director David Cronenberg’ deferred his own salary to make this film.