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Spyder (Telugu with English sub-titles)  : Hi-tech Vigilante
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Friday, September 29, 2017
A.R. Murugadoss
Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet Singh, S. J. Surya, Bharath

AR Murugadoss is back to bludgeon the viewer with a villain so vile that it sends heebie-jeebies down the spine.


Born in a cemetery, Bhairavudu is weaned on the wails of mourners and grows up relishing the tears and trauma of families who bring their loved ones to the graveyard. He can’t eat until he’s feasted on the cries of those who’ve lost their dear family members.


The day isn’t far when Bhairavudu who suffers from an acute case of Sadistic Personality Disorder or SPD, starts taking joy in killing people and dismembering dead bodies.


Bhairavudu’s nemesis Shiva is just the opposite. His ultimate joy is in bringing a smile of happiness to other people, especially strangers. Over-qualified for the job he does, Shiva is content to be in a hi-tech room phone-tapping the public. Like the thriller series Person Of Interest, the wiz with software and gizmos uses his skills to spot a crime and prevent it from happening.


“The police step in to solve a crime after it has happened. What I do isfar more satisfying,” Shiva tells his father.


Pitting an evil Bhairavudu against Shiva, Murugadoss’ chilling thriller takes off mixing the killer’s highly-tuned sadism with the hero’s highly-brainy technical wizardry. As the two personalities settle down in the first half, the pace is exhilarating.


But a little after the popcorn break, Murugadoss loses the tautness by shifting gears from brains to brawn. Shiva’s cleverness in averting disaster is admirable when the villain reaches his house. But soon, the intelligence turns into the improbable as Shiva nabs the serial killer with an army of untrained women, stops a giant boulder and finally thrashes Bhairavudu in a hospital that’s crumbling after being bombed out.  The body count of innocents climbs as the grey cells recede for special effects and old-fashioned fisticuffs to take over.


For a film that salutes technology, there are serious lapses like Shiva’s identity baffling the police, even after he has taken on the villain publicly in front of a huge crowd.

Murugadoss also leaves you uneasy with the message that research shows all of us have a small percentage of SPD, so watch it, don’t nurture it.


But there’s a small helping of light-hearted romance for relief from the murder and blood spill. There’s also a very today’s scene between Shiva’s mother and a ‘friend with benefits’.


The director makes full use of Mahesh Babu’s popular appeal which has a huge following in Andhra Pradesh and now in Tamilnadu. Mahesh as Shiva is stylish with a super screen presence. Surya SJ is menacing as Bhairavudu and Rakul Preet is suitably peppy as the incidental girlfriend.       


For a film that’s sophisticated masala fare, Spyder gets a 3* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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