Spyder - Movie Review

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 13:45
Spyder (2017)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Spyder
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet Singh, S J Suryah, Priyadarshi, Shayaji Shinde, RJ Balaji, Bharath, JP, Dheepa Ramanujam and others
Music: Harris Jayaraj
Cinematography: Santosh Sivan
Editing: Sreekar Prasad
Production design: Rupin Suchak
Action Stunts: Peter Hein
Presented by: Tagore Madhu
Producer: NV Prasad
Story, screenplay, dialogue and direction A R Murugadoss
Release date: September 27, 2017
CBFC Rating: UA
Running Time: 145 mins

What's it about!

As a guy working in Intelligence Bureau's Counter Terrorism branch, Shiva (Mahesh Babu) spies on the people through a special software and communication setup. He saves people from criminals. Though he is not a spiderman or superman, he is savior to the needy. When he sends a constable to a needy woman's house to protect her, both of them get killed. Then he comes to know that a serial killer on the loose is behind these killings. The serial killer is Bhairavudu (S J Suryah) who is born and raised in graveyard and derives joy when someone dies. He turns ruthless killer due to an incident in his childhood.

Does Shiva have capacity to stop this evil force from further destruction? The mind games between hero and villains follow.


Director A R Murugadoss has once again come up with an interesting plotline that is different from regular mass movies - an IB agent (spying person) vs serial killer. The counter-terrorism activities and IB's surveillance methods have not been dealt before on Telugu cinema screen. Placing them as the backdrop, Murugadoss has woven a script that gives us the feel of a straight forward action drama but it has more than action to offer.

The movie nicely sets up the story - what the hero is doing (he is not IB officer but works in the department unofficially to tap the phones. Tapping the phones of public is illegal but IB sets up this wing to counter the terrorist activities), how he comes in face-off with a serial killer. This angle reminds us of 'Minority Reprort'.

Though romantic track in the beginning comes as a break, entire first half is told in riveting manner.

The following episodes are quite interesting….

1. Hero going to a village to know about the serial killer

2. The serial killer Bhairavudu's back story (the kid is terrific here)

3. Serial killer trying to kill hero's mother and hero using some tactics in saving her

4. The fight sequence on roller coaster at Wonderla and hero firing at serial killer from his hospital bed

All these sequences happen before the interval bang and they are told in most engaging and racy manner. Murugadoss is known for such brilliant set ups and he doesn't disappoint here. After such a promising and riveting first half, we expect equally interesting episodes but the post interval everything goes downhill.

The 30-40 minute episode of hero using women who watch Varudhini Parinayam TV serial to nab the criminal who is hiding in their neighborhood is nice idea but as it progresses the logic-lessness comes to the fore. In most sequences here, the police officers act mere spectator or blindly follow the orders of hero, who doesn't hold any rank in IB or Police department. This sequence should have been handled with more logic as it occupies major runtime in the second half.

If the second half is better, it would have turned into a satisfying action entertainer. After ending of this lengthy sequence, hero comes face-to-face with the villain and then two lengthy action episodes – a penultimate and climax fight happen but they turn out to be predictable.

After such a great start, Murugadoss has himself has lost it. There is good message that men and human are more into sharing and liking buttons on social media than sharing humanity in real life. As men and human are losing humanity, such inhuman serial killers are on the prowl. This message comes in the final sequence but this comes more as a forced one than an organic one.

Mahesh Babu has proved umpteen times that he fits well in the role of cops or intelligence officers with dashing attitude. The role of Shiva is a bit different for him. Mahesh, one of the best star actors, owns the role and gives riveting performance though this is neither cop role nor a spy character.  Mahesh should be commanded for attempting something different within the action genre though it has not really come out well.

Rakul Preet Singh as a medico has nothing much to do other than serving the customary romantic track. Hers is poorly written character. S J Suryah as evil terrorist is a surprise. This is one of the best performances in a negative role in long time on Indian screen. He is quite menacing and has owned it. Priyadarshi as Mahesh Babu's friend has suited well.

Coming to the technicians, the great master Santosh Sivan's absolutely brilliant camerawork stands out, he has lent the movie a class touch. Sivan has left his indelible mark with slick and sharp visuals. His work is most visibly alluring one among the technicians. Of the songs, “Miss Mysterious” and “Ciciliya Ciciliya” are catchy and well-shot. Harris Jayaraj has elevated the movie with his perfect BG score. VFX work is tacky.

As writer and director A R Murugadoss has shown his mark in some episodes but his overall writing has become monotonous. He needs to reinvent himself.

Bottom-line: 'Spyder' has some riveting moments in the first half, the face-off between Mahesh Babu and S J Surya reeks of brilliance but it turns monotonous in the second half. If the second half was shot equally better as the first half, it would have been a good action thriller. Mahesh Babu holds the movie to the maximum but the movie is an unsatisfactory one in the end.

Reviewed by: 
J Gudelli