Director: A.R Murugadoss
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet Singh, SJ Suryah and Bharath
A.R Murugadoss is known for his larger-than-life commercial films. His heroes, be it Suriya from Ghajini or Kathiresan from Kaththi, are regular people like us who fight for a cause. In Spyder, however, we get a slightly upgraded version of Murugadoss’s regular portrayal of a hero. Blame it on Mahesh’s charming looks, I guess. He plays Shiva, and he reminds us a lot about Tom Cruise from Minority Report. While we’ve had heroes who put their life at risk to fight the bad guys, here’s someone who likes to not even give bad guys the opportunity to commit a crime.
The promos of the film fooled the audiences into believing that Spyder is a spy thriller. Tapping into someone’s phone calls or hijacking live broadcast can be done if you’re technically sound and have the required resources. The whole spy angle in Spyder is merely used to make the film come across as a high-tech thriller and to portray Mahesh Babu in a cool, never played before avatar. While the film succeeds in doing full justice to the latter part but the former angle is a joke, especially when it’s used to inspire by a group of women to go on a rescue mission. It’s not even far-fetched but outright silly, but it might work with the masses.
Spyder connects on an emotional level when it introduces us to SJ Suryah, and his portion as a kid, will shake you from the inside. He’s born to an undertaker, and seconds after he’s born, the first sound he hears is the cry of mourning as a family bids adieu to its member. They live in a cemetery and he grows up listening to people mourn; their cry is a lullaby for him. Growing up in such an environment forces him to take a life at a very young age. We’re told much later that he suffers from Sadistic Personality Disorder and it explains his passion for inflicting pain on others.
At interval point, we get a terrific face-off moment between Mahesh and Suryah who exchange glances for the first time. Unfortunately, what we get in the subsequent half is disappointing, especially the build up to the climax. Luckily, Murugadoss extracts the best out of Mahesh Babu as well as Suryah and their performances keep us engaged till the end.
The action in the film was highly spoken about before release. It’s debatable, because one of the most hyped stunt sequences happens on a roller-coaster and it’s easily the tackiest VFX work you could have seen in a big ticket film. The climax action episode, which happens in a hospital, is far better and it’s executed with care. If there’s one most annoying part in Spyder, it undoubtedly has to be the romantic track and Rakul Preet Singh’s character. The film could have easily done away with the romance and still would have worked even better.