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'SPYDer' Review: 'Spyce' Less

'SPYDer' Review: 'Spyce' Less

Movie: Spyder
Rating: 2.5/5
NVR Cinema
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet Singh, S J Surya, Bharath, Priyadarshi, RJ Balaji, and others
Music: Harris Jayaraj
Camera: Santosh Sivan
Editing: Sreekar Prasad
Art Director: Rupin
Fights: Peter Hein
Producer: N V Prasad
Presenter: Tagore Madhu
Written and directed by: A R Murugadoss
Release date: September 27, 2017

Movie lovers were excited to the core when the news came out that Mahesh Babu and A R Murugadoss have teamed up for a film. The combination generated a huge craze and the trailers further hyped the movie.

More than the trailers, Mahesh Babu’s confidence and his statements about the movie gave it good momentum. Amidst sky-high expectations, “Spyder” has hit the screens.

Let’s find out if Murugadoss delivered what the movie lovers and Mahesh Babu’s fans have been eagerly waiting to watch...

Shiva (Mahesh Babu) works in IB department’s surveillance department, he is not an officer but his aim is to nab criminals before they indulge in crimes. His nature of job is to spy on criminals and counter terrorist activities. He is quite effective in handling counter activities with his specially developed software.

A call leads him to a medical student (Rakul Preet Singh) who wants to go on a blind date with a guy. As their romantic track goes on, he comes to know about a serial killer Bhairavudu (S J Surya) who has been killing people since long time.

While searching for Bhairavudu, he gets in touch with his brother and then finally reaches Bhairavudu. But the ruthless serial killer plans bombing a hospital. How Shiva unfoils his mission?

Artistes’ Performances:
Mahesh Babu has played a cop many a time, but this role is quite different. He is neither a police officer, nor an IB agent, but works in Intelligence Bureau. This is completely novel for Telugu cinema. Like always, Mahesh Babu gives his best to the role and comes up with a stunning performance. In some scenes, Murugadoss has presented Mahesh in a completely unique manner.

Rakul hasn't much of a role other than being the regular female lead. She is okay.

The characterization of  the villain is quite different, one does not come across such villains in Indian cinema regularly. S J Surya as a guy who derives satisfaction from other’s death is terrific. He is ruthless and his menacing act is the highlight of the film.

As Mahesh Babu’s friend, Priyadarshi gets a meaty role and he is good. Bharath in a guest role has done commendable job.

Technical Excellence:
What is stunning in the film is its cinematography. Renowned cinematographer Santosh Sivan has filmed it in classy manner. His work is top class be it in action stunts or regular scenes or songs.

Songs by Harris Jayaraj are not that effective, but his background score is the highlight.

Art work, especially Mahesh Babu’s office, is good. The film has slow pace in the beginning but the editor has made the film racy in the crucial parts. Dialogues are okay. Film has high-end production values. VFX is very ordinary.

Mahesh Babu’s charisma and performance
S J Surya as villain
Interval bang
Production values

Penultimate sequences
Predictable climax
Lack of entertainment
Logic-less scenes

In his long career, director A R Murugadoss has made mainly two kind of movies – 1. message-oriented films (Ramana, Stalin, 7th Sense) 2. stylish action thrillers (Ghazini, Thuppaki, etc). His latest “Spyder” falls in the latter category.

In each of his movies, he touches upon a new topic and here he has used government’s surveillance activities and the growing inhuman feelings among the general public. The film begins as an action thriller.

Hero gets introduced as an IT guy coming to the IB department as he is passionate about countering crime.

After establishing Mahesh Babu’s nature of job neatly, the film proceeds in a predictable manner in dealing with romantic episodes but it turns into serious mode again after the death of a girl and a constable.

Hero realising that a serial killer is on the loose and coming to know the identity of Bhairavudu is well-established. From this point till the interval, the film goes on in a racy manner and keeps the audiences glued to the seats.

The entire sequence of Mahesh Babu going to the village of Bhairavudu and getting to know the childhood story of Bhairavudu is told in highly engaging manner. This is stamp of Murugadoss.

By interval, we come to the face off between Mahesh Babu and S J Surya, the officer and serial killer. This is staged in a wonderful way. Despite some routine romantic track and familiar family episodes, the first half of the movie is well-told.

Once the identity of the villain is established and his motives are made clear, there is not much plot to be explored. Here, Murugadoss falters completely. He loses complete grip on narrating the second half.

How Mahesh Babu captures this ruthless criminal is told in boring and illogical manner. There is a near 30-minute episode in the second half where Mahesh Babu uses TV serial watching women coming together to zero in on the house where Surya is hiding. This episode is interesting on paper but the execution part lacks punch.

After the end of this episode, the story moves to the penultimate sequences which are again made in a lackadaisical way.

The sequences between Mahesh Babu and Surya and the mind games that Surya plays are interesting and novel, this portion would have turned out excellent. In the crucial part of the movie, Murugadoss’s writing skills have gone for a toss. The penultimate sequences not only lack logic but also test patience.

While the entire movie is told in an action thriller mode, hero gives a strong message in the end which is more like comedy than a serious message. The climax here is one of the worst endings made in recent times.

All in all, “Spyder” has interesting first half, and some neatly packed episodes but it lets down totally as it is neither the best movie from Murugadoss, nor a good one for Mahesh Babu. Other than bits and pieces, it lacks appealing factor.

Bottom-line: Lacks punch