Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam heroes are demi-gods who have immense fan following. Mahesh Babu is one of them who at the peak of his career took a 3 year break and with his heroism he is quite down to earth unlike others. “Spyder” is supposedly an important film for Mahesh Babu who had a huge disaster “Brahmotsavam” (2016) and A R Murugadoss who has also suffered with same with “Akira” (2016). A bilingual film which marks Mahesh Babu’s Tamil debut is one the big budget film post-Baahubali. The expectations were high…
Siva (a demi-god name, hehe) played by Mahesh Babu is an Intelligence Officer who takes down a psychotic killer Bhairavudu (S J Suryah) wreaking havoc in the city of Hyderabad. As the film starts shaping, we get the sense that its not the usual action thriller. Like the antagonist wreaks havoc, here the writing in the second half wreaks what could have been a master action thriller. Director A R Murugadoss piles up smartly keeping us on the edge-of-seat until the Interval. Post-interval the film takes a slow pace and the smartness is reduced to casualness. Even the antagonist who has a phenomenal background of Sadistic Personality Disorder dies a typical death. But its not a complete disaster and unbearable, with the heroic antics and the smart technological usage, its an out-an-out entertainer.
Murugadoss’ films always have that one (WTF) emotional moment which triggers the hero and the fight for injustice which the protagonist takes us smartly like in “Thuppakki/Holiday” (2012-14) or “Kaththi” (2014); this film also follows the same pattern. And hey, why does stalking still exists? Siva uses his Intelligence job by tracing phone calls to stalk a girl which he eventually falls in love. Love story is that one factor which does provide some relief from action and thrill. Commercial Tamil and Telugu films are still culprits to such narrative. Screenplay which derails after a certain point is marred with a lengthy and illogical sequence featuring few ladies watching a TV Show how Siva gets hold of them to trap the antagonist. Its an appreciable sequence but gets tedious after a while.
Tone of the antagonist setup is so brilliant, Bhairavudu who is born in a cremation ground gets obsessed with people crying at funerals and eventually starts killing them for his pleasure. Its a classy mass film which stunning visuals. Ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan and Murugadoss team up after “Thuppakki” (2012) and weave suiting visuals required. One particular action sequence set on a roller-coaster ride which could have been a terrific roller-coaster ride is marred by cheap VFX and poor action choreography. And by the pre-climax we also get the “Enthiran/Robot” (2010) reminding scene but featuring a huge rock. Rocky film!
Mahesh Babu is classy in this mass entertainer retaining his charms and styles catering to his fans. S J Suryah is impressive and gives a massive shocking performance on the lines below Joker. And if you miss Sayaji Shinde throughout (who features typically in every Telugu film) makes a useless appearance. Harris Jayaraj’s songs were utter disappointment but his raging background score is the most brilliant aspect. A R Murugadoss does a super direction and even handles the emotions well on the screen, balancing.
What “could have been” a class apart film is punctured by its narrative in the second half and catering to the masses. If you want to spend 2 hours 30 minutes entertaining yourself, then this is the film but I will prefer to watch Thuppakki, Holiday and Kaththi for the magic of A R Murugadoss.
Release: 27 September, 2017
Director: A R Murugadoss
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