Film Review: The Girl and the Spider | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Saturday, May 28th, 2022  

The Girl and the Spider

Studio: Cinema Guild
Dir: Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher

Oct 01, 2021 Web Exclusive
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The Girl and the Spider is a visually chaotic yet thematically uninteresting attempt to explore the idea of human connection.

A young woman named Lisa (Lilliane Amuat) is moving out of her apartment with the help of an eccentric cast of characters. These include, but are not limited to: her soon-to-be-ex-roommate Mara (Henriette Confurius), her new roommate Markus (Ivan Georgiev), the handyman and his protégé, Lisa’s mother, and two curious roommates who live across the hall.

All of these people weave in and out of the film as they try to move Lisa’s stuff out in an orderly fashion. Even so, the film is mostly focused on Mara. Still salty about the fact that Lisa is moving out, viewers see almost the entire situation from Mara’s perspective. There are multiple minor plotlines, the most notable being the relationship between the handyman’s protégé and the across-the-hall neighbor. The film is a slice-of-life portrait, relaying its story through perspective rather than narrative.

The film is set almost completely within the confines of the apartment building. Most of the focus is placed on how the characters interact with one another. The problem is that none of the characters, nor their issues, are remotely interesting. It’s easy for viewers to get caught up at the beginning of the film when the setting’s quirkiness shines through and the premise feels refreshing and promising. As the plot progresses, going around the same narrative circles rather than traveling to somewhere new feels tiring.

The Girl and the Spider is a prime example of style over substance. The film looks absolutely gorgeous, primarily due to the bright summery color scheme and the Zürcher brothers’ skillful direction. The duo’s use of the film’s limited setting and space is captivating, moving back and forth between areas of the apartment so quickly it’s almost disorienting.

Unfortunately, the film’s visual antics aren’t enough to counteract the film’s empty narrative. The film coins itself as a mirror of human connection. This is a far reach when every single character feels and acts like a paper-thin caricature and it proves impossible to explore that concept any deeper than just skimming the surface. (www.filmlinc.org/nyff2021/films/the-girl-and-the-spider/)

Author rating: 4/10

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