India Entertainment
'Spider-Man 3' is endearing and exasperating
May 6, 2007 - 4:19:36 PM

Film: 'Spider-Man 3' -; Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco; Director: Sam Rami; Rating: ***

This comic-book look at the way we see the world of moral anarchy is an outright winner.

Yes, the plot hangs loose. But the characters, familiar to those who have been following this kinetic series, hang together in one electrifying line of vibrant vision.

And yes, in the Hindi version, Peter Parker's editor-boss - is turned into a boorish Punjabi. And the French restaurateur when Parker wants to propose to his beloved transforms, into a Bengali waiter in the Hindi version.

But you know what? These appalling aberrations cannot hold back the unbridled energy, the swirling synthesis of spectacle and drama, and the gliding force behind the powers that activate such wondrous battles between good and evil.

Interestingly, good and evil are often contained within the same characters. Spider-Man gets into a black suit, acquires a randy swagger and becomes naughty in the second-half. Cute, but representative of man and the moral choices he must exercise.

And Spider-Man's fascinating buddy Harry Osborn - is no walk over either. He goes from vengeful flying demon to lobotomised lamb, and then again to a hefty heaving harridan before coming to a positive and noble end. Yes, this segment of the spidery web delivers a vital punch, giving us heart-stopping moments and interludes of undeniable vitality.

Watch out for the big fights. The first major outburst happens when Parker battles Osborn for Mary Jane's wedding ring. The soundtrack shrieks and the visuals soar and roar like winged lions.

The technical team creates optical fireworks with no room for pauses and breathing spaces. The drama of good and evil is by its very definition larger-than-life.

The streets of New York are filled with over-sized goblins and gigantic comic-book villains who seem to pay a tribute to all our favourite comic book characters from 'Superman' to 'King Kong'.

The Sandman - is a specially created acme of action. A bulky tribute to the spirit of brute force, he romps through the streets of New York overturning cars and morality with democratic velocity.

Ironically, it's poor Spidey who, for a while, gets confounded about the good and the bad. By the time he finds his level, so does the plot.

Bulging with enormous swings and strides, Spider-Man is both endearing and exasperating - endearing for its devious blend of bustle and burlesque and exasperating, because at the end of the long elaborate homage to computer-induced hi-jinks you know you were being taken for a ride.

But what a rollicking ride, made smooth and sinuous by the cool and confident actors who suspend our disbelief by pulling out all stops that segregate the world of the imagination from the realm of the everyday and the mundane.

This film by Sam Raimi, epic in every proportion, sweeps us into a domain of the devastatingly dishy.

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