SPYDER (2017)

Critic - No.127
Director: A.R.Murgadoss
Casts: Mahesh Babu, S.J.Suryah, Rakul Preet Singh, Bharath
Music: Harris Jeyraj
Language: Tamil
Genre: Action / Crime / Thriller

Intelligence officer Shiva (Mahesh Babu) must use his skills and intellect to take down a psychotic terrorist causing havoc in Hyderabad.

A.R.Murgadoss strikes back to Kollywood after the back to back blockbusters ‘Thuppaki (2012)’ and ‘Kaththi (2014)’. Known for his fine balance between commercialism and social commentary, the film maker went on to become one of the highest paid director in Indian Cinema. So how will his latest bilingual fair, stirring massive expectations with Mahesh Babub’s debut in Tamil?

This time A.R.Murgadoss takes humanity and compassion to be the main subject and threads a story with a psychotic maniac who enjoys inflicting death. The film engaging in the way technology is used to nab an intelligent criminal. The cat and mouse chase between Mahesh Babu and SJ Suryah is the biggest highlight of the film. Unlike many high budget commercial cinema, this film has a solid backstory for the villain that will certainly scare the audiences. Kudos to the child artist Sanjay who portrays the younger version of SJ Suryah in the flash back. ARM places another trademark criminal nabbing scene with (in the likes of Thuppaki group killing sequence) with housewives, that is intelligently played out on screen. With scenes like these, the film maker constantly reminds how strong a common man can be. 

If ARM scores in his strong story, the screenplay lags majorly due to his confusion to please both Telugu and Tamil audiences. The romance track between Mahesh and Rakul is irrelevant and unimaginative. This forces the film maker to place 2-3 duet songs just for commercial purposes that acts as a major speed breaker. Rakul’s character is extremely contrived. To please the Telugu audiences there are several over the top stunt sequences that might annoy a few sections of audience. After the revelation of Bharath’s character, the film starts to lag and takes its time to arrive at the climax. Logic takes a beating as well in this progress.

Mahesh Babu’s Tamil articulation should be commended while same can’t be said for his acting. SJ Suryah has taken another major step in his career with this powerful role. His monologues are powerful and is a sheer delight to witness his evolution as an actor. Despite the weak placement of songs, Harris’ songs are catchy and his background music elevates the value of each scene. Santosh Sivan’s cinematography is another highlight with extensive angles, especially during the stunt sequences.

Grounded by a solid story, 'Spyder' is yet another attempt by A.R.Murgadoss to weave societal issues with commercial cinema that gets diluted by unnecessary cinematic liberties taken to force fit into the Telugu Masala format.



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