Saviour can’t save : The Tribune India

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Saviour can’t save

Saviour can’t save

In the acting department, Dakota Johnson (centre) leads comfortably.

Film: Madame Web

Director: SJ Clarkson

Cast: Dakota Johnson, Kerry Bishé, Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, Celeste O’Connor, Tahar Rahim, Mike Epps, Emma Roberts and Adam Scott


With ‘Wonder Woman’, ‘She Hulk’, ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Ms Marvel’ leaving behind a trail of ‘womanification’ of superhero flicks in their wake, Madame Web, another mutant character from Marvel Comics, gets its own film. The character first appeared in Marvel Comics, where she helped Spiderman find a victim of kidnapping.

The film is set in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, which kicked off with ‘Venom’ in 2018. The film has a quick backstory, which is told in the opening few scenes. It is set in the Amazon rainforest in Peru in 1973, where our heroine, Cassandra Webb, is birthed by her dying mother, Constance Webb (Kerry Bishé), in a mysterious water body.

Constance is introduced as a scientist researching spiders. She was betrayed and shot by Ezekiel Sims (played by Tahar Rahim). And thus begins the unveiling of all that is wrong with the film. The fact that there’s a villain with no backstory, less screen time and a blind motive, all the while walking closer to his death, makes it a big failure.

The infant grows up to become the beautiful Dakota Johnson. She is a paramedic saving a dying mother in her ‘face reveal’ scene. Cassie to her colleagues, we get how she is awkward and weird about the tiniest of affection thrown at her. But soon, her psychic ability to see future events puts her in the position of a guardian of three teenage girls: Julia, Anya and Mattie (played by Sydney Sweeney, Isabella Merced and Celeste O’Connor). The plot picks pace but the film has done nothing more than laying a foundation for better sequels/spin-offs. In the acting department, Dakota leads comfortably and the camaraderie between her and the girls is adorable. You are equally invested in the story of Cassie’s colleague and best friend, Ben Parker (Adam Scott); any Marvel Comics fan could connect the dots about Ben being Spiderman’s uncle. He delivers a worthy act alongside Dakota.

The film aces in the background score and had the screenplay been better, the viewers wouldn’t have felt let down. The music hooks you from the opening scene and excels during the intense action sequences. The connecting thread of Cassie being a saviour for those girls as she discovers her power, and as a paramedic earlier, assures that a bigger tale has been intentionally withheld to be told another day.