Ralph Fiennes's performance was so good that all my body was contracted all along the movie. I loved the close-ups of his hands holding tiny objects. Although the storyline is about a man overwhelmed by his memories and dreams, there is also an emphasis on bodies and objects in the movie; i like this contrast between psyche and matter.
Cronenberg at his most spare, using very limited elements with complete precision. It's all humorless, yet there's a satisfaction to the way the Freudianism 101 leads you down a garden path, where what you're watching could be either a real murder story or just the schizophrenic cesspool of the human mind. The solution is basic, as mindfucks go. But it marks a definitive move to a different kind of "exploding head".
After everyone has disembarked at the train station, Dennis "Spider" Cleg stands here like a character from a silent movie, out of time; one of those bizarre, bumbling wanderers, a Tramp if you will, left behind by the tumultuous tide of modernity, wearing a large coat with seemingly infinite pockets; a character who is never a protagonist, always an out-of-place witness to history - his story.
Mental health dysfunction will always be a fascinating topic for cinematic deconstruction - Cronenberg explores how past events are partially responsible for the plight of a disturbed mind and an obsessive complex. Freud and Jung would have a field day with this one.
A very dark, sad and introspective film set around the troubled mind of a mentally ill man played expertly by the great Ralph Fiennes. The spider webs motifs are extremely fitting with the film's themes. The poignant Howard Shore soundtrack grips you from the opening credits of the film. In fact, Cronenberg and Shore always fits together.
A good film, which however, will never achieve what McGrath has done with his book. It seems to me that they have decided to sum up an intense, evocative and complex story in a film which on the other hand, develops just a great atmosphere but misses some crucial and intimate layers about the characters that feel insincere and not authentic.
For what it is, it's exceptionally well crafted and acted and above anything by Nolan. That said, it's still a puzzle film. The problem with this kind of storytelling is how it seems to exploit it's characters by taking their dilemmas and turning them into a crossword puzzle for the audience to solve. The exceptions are films like Marienbad where its unsolvable nature serves to establish a surreal atmosphere.