Analysis of the Movie, “Spun”
In the 2002 movie “Spun,” college drop out Ross is hired by crystal meth’s “Cook” as his personal driver in exchange for free drugs. Ross chauffers Cook back and forth across North Los Angeles in search of ingredients for the meth which Cook then takes back to his hotel room to “cook” or manufacture. Eventually, this addiction takes Ross further and further away from reality as viewers just hold on for a wild ride through a massive life on speed in 3 days of 24-hour cycles.Swedish-born director Jonas Akerlund, more known for his Directorial credits for fascinating music videos, including those of Madonna, U2 and Robbie Williams, does an excellent job in transferring his talent to the “other” screen.In analyzing this film, I must state that I did not find any of the characters to be at all dull. Mickey Rourke who played the part of The Cook with his cool, menacing presence was awesomely believable.
It may be an overstated phrase, but in this case Rourke was indeed “born to play the role” of Cook. Jason Swartzman plays the character of Ross, the rapidly disintegrating, out-of-control speed freak while Mena Suvari plays his bizarre and repugnant girlfriend Cookie. John Leguizamo was perfectly cast to play Spider Mike. Spider Mike is a tattooed paranoid with all kinds of frenzied energy who frustrates everyone around him due to his inability to concentrate.Patrick Fugit plays the acne-ridden video game addict youth Frisbee who hangs out with Spider Mike. Brittany Murphy plays the Cook’s stripper girlfriend and does so as brilliantly and uniquely as the part can be played.
The singer Deborah Harry plays a nosey lesbian neighbor with a fascination for the martial arts. Even the cops “playing” a Cops episode were a pleasure to watch. Every actor and actress in this film is entertaining to watch regardless of how you feel about the content of the film. I would state that in all of the roles, the actors and actresses suit the characters so well it seems the parts were created around them rather than vice-versa.If one knows the content of the movie before seeing it, I doubt the audience would be very shocked at the amount of pervasive drug content, nudity, violence, strong sexuality, profanity and the raw, gritty, discordant along with the extremely dark nature of this film.
With that said, however, the film also manages to be hilarious unlike the movie some see as its more serious counterpart, “Requiem for a Dream.”The movie “Spun” is made available in the rated version and the unrated version. In the rated version some of the profanity is edited out and anatomical parts are blurred. The more realistic un-rated version gives the viewer the unedited sense of the disturbing darkness, the complete Oxford of profanity, and the unedited anatomy. Either version is not suitable for children, so you might as well not cheat yourself out of the grittier, darker and more realistic nightmarish world that was achieved exceptionally well by this excellent cast of actors, actresses and film professionals.The camera shots, the comedic undertone of “Spun,” the visual pyrotechnics, cartoon sequences that depict the impoverished state of the addicted mind, the drug-altered characters and the cameos of Rob Halford and Billy Corgan jut bring this movie up notches further than being an already great movie.
I doubt that anyone could or would deny that the movie “Spun” is replete with the dregs of society—dregs of society that are fascinating to watch. It parallels what some state about watching a train wreck. You sometimes want to turn your head or cover your ears while watching this movie but it’s so uniquely fascinating, you just can’t (and maybe shouldn’t).In a dark and strange dichotomy, everything in the movie “Spun” that some may find to be offensive, is also what makes “Spun” a most interesting movie. Although like other drug addiction movies, it depicts just how low addicts will go for their next hit. However, “Spun” depicts it all in as fascinating a way as probably humanly possible while still affecting the viewer.
In a way, I would evaluate this movie as a better way of treating addicts without preaching or lecturing. It makes the viewer wonder if that indeed was the movie’s intent.