Movies

‘Spyder’ review: jerky narration does it in

Shiva (Mahesh) works in the Intelligence Bureau. As part of his job, he taps calls that indicate a threat to someone’s life and saves them. On one occasion, he hears a woman voicing fear on staying alone and the next minute she is dead. The constable who goes to the location to save her also dies. The killer is revealed to be a psychopath with a strange reason for butchering people. The onus is on Shiva to trace the calls and nab the killer as well as his partner in crime, the brother. The film is chilling in as far as it doesn’t go overboard. But its straightforward narration kills the curiosity; while we don’t expect a non-linear narration, a bit of suspense would have helped.

Then there are a few incredulous scenes that make us go numb. Even Hurricane Irma wouldn’t have created the impact that a huge boulder does as it rolls down destroying cars and seem like it will reduce a hospital to rubble. But then it suddenly stops. The trailer gave the impression of a high-tech Hollywood-like film in the offing. Finally, a small glass of hydrochloric acid on a huge rock paves the way to the denouement complete with Shiva reeling off social media terminology like ‘like’ and ‘share’ along with a good old message of helping mankind.

Spyder
  • Cast: Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet Singh, S J Suryah
  • Director: A R Murugadoss
  • Music: Harris Jeyraj
  • Plot: Phone tapping agent takes on a serial killer

Good looks, dances and acting don’t add up to a successful film; there is dire necessity of strong content and effective story-telling. Spyder despite its intriguing title, fails to match up to audience expectations. When a film is made as a bi-lingual with a mammoth ₹120 crore budget, the responsibility rests both on the director and the actor. Perhaps more on the actor.

Spyder is a thriller and has a strong role etched out for the villain, which obviously means a greater challenge for the hero. After a decent introduction in the first half, the graph for the hero doesn’t rise, the intensity dips and the narration falls flat. Mahesh is good, but after a point, we wonder what he is doing here. It is S J Suryah as Bhairava who walks away with all the attention.

The strength and weakness of Mahesh Babu is the same — he submits himself unconditionally to the director. If only someone had conveyed to the director that audiences these days no longer believe that if an iron rod goes right through the hero’s abdomen and comes out from behind, he will reach the hospital in a semi-conscious state — and still have the will and time to spot the villain and shoot him, that too after a leisurely eye contact. In fact, Shiva shoots Bhairava in such a way that the bullets don’t injure his organs and he comes out alive, to face another war!

In the second half, the film turns into an absolute farce. Rakul as Charlie is mere eye-candy and Santosh Sivan is the saving grace. Harris Jeyraj’s music is good, while editing could have been better.

Spyder starts off well but the director’s imagination goes overboard only to turn a purpose ridden plot to a piece of travesty.


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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 7:03:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/telugu-film-review-spyder-2017-mahesh-babu-rakul-preet-singh/article19762527.ece

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