Spyder Movie Review
Movie Cast: Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet Singh, S.J.Suryah, Bharath, Priyadarshi, Jaya Prakash
Cinematography: Santhosh Shivan
Music: Harris Jayaraj
Editing: Srikar Prasad
Release Date: 27/09/2017
As a junior level officer at the Intelligence Bureau, Shiva aka Mahesh Babu has the distinction of building his own software to track people’s conversations. He’s good at his job, but he doesn’t like being pompous, and his friends at the Bureau support him wholeheartedly, despite knowing that everything that they are doing is illegal. This also explains why the film is devoid of any trappings which could eulogize a hero to convey the emotion of that character. Spyder is the kind of film which is extremely aware of what it’s doing and we, as the audience, are expected to keep up with its pace.
Director’s protagonist and antagonist and the conflict between them look inspired from filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Night. In one scene, Shiva tells his friend played by RJ Balaji that he is neither Spiderman or Superman. It seems like he knows that he is a Batman. He spies on people with modern gadgets and unofficially, anonymously, he fights the crime. Like the Joker, Sudalai is insane and commits crimes for the pleasure. He likes killing people with blades and cuts them into pieces. And he televises his evil plans of killing people to get what he wants. He is an agent of chaos.
You also begin to feel that AR Murugadoss, who wrote and directed Spyder, stuck to his guns to make a film which doesn’t get bogged down by the presence of a star. In the film mainly the two characters will appear and the whole story revolving around them. While Shiva believes in humanity, Bhairavudu believes in destruction. Why? Because he feels more at peace when he sees another wailing. It’s termed as SPD (Sadistic Personality Disorder), a euphemism which has been explored to great effect in every sense.
The first time we hear about Bhairavudu’s past, you shudder when you think about his motivations. He kills because when people cry, it’s music to his ears. There’s no other motivation behind it. Like the movie ‘The Dark Knight’, some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” Here, Bhairavudu just wants to watch the world cry.
In one situation, he hacks into an entertainment channel to reach out to a few women; in another, uses thermal-imaging technology to trace people; in another montage scene, Shiva appears at the crime spot before something can go terribly wrong. It’s a joy to watch a film where such ideas actually translate well on screen. But at its core level, the film is about the confrontation between good vs evil, between a man who wants to be a hero lurking in the shadows and a villain who terrorizes people openly. The script derives its strength from the villain’s past. Mahesh was left with is a sharp acumen to use the gadgets at his disposal to catch the villain before the latter implements more devious plans. There’s a constant feeling of doom and Murugadoss toys around with this external threat quite well throughout the film.
Pros of Spyder:
It is one of the best performances in his career and full credit to him for pulling it off with such panache and authenticity. SJ Suryah is a revelation and easily the best villain we have seen in recent times. It’s a well performed and the actor does full justice to his wonderfully written role. Amidst a fight between these two behemoths, there’s hardly a space for romance, and naturally, Rakul Preet gets very little screen time.
However, the film has its own share of issues, especially in terms of its VFX. There are portions of stunt sequences which don’t quite look authentic, and the sub-standard visual effects in one critical moment in the story hamper the experience. Spyder is also a true blue action thriller and it stays true to the genre. Harris Jayaraj’s background score and Santosh Sivan’s cinematography are terrific. And the fact that it’s quite engaging almost till the end is an impressive feat in itself.
Moreover, it’s a relief to see a film like this being made in the first place because it delves into the very concept of how vulnerable human lives are and why we all need to watch out for each other. In the climax, even if the message of the film feels like an afterthought, its emotion is very much the driving force behind the lead character. This isn’t Mahesh’s film alone and it doesn’t satisfy to our expectations from his action dramas. And to see him step into the shoes of a character which doesn’t dominate the film is also why Spyder has a very different tone from the very beginning. A big thumbs up for Spyder. Go watch it.