Review: SPYDER

Mahesh Babu Is Hawt. Story Could Have Been Too.

2.5 stars

Mini Review:

The Nerds are listening in to our cell phone conversations and Shiva helps people even before the police know a crime is going to happen. The idea is super and we know Mahesh Babu has a hit on his hands. But in the second half, the story takes a creepy turn and the film turns into a regular old masala movie. 

Main Review:

Is the government listening in to our everyday conversations? Cane they spy on every message we send, every social media we post?

Shiva and his group works for the government and they’re listening in… But to help people even before a crime is committed. The moment the word ‘Help’ pops up in any conversation, the team jumps in and helps save the innocents. 

It’s a great idea and you would think that it could be the start of a new kind of superhero story. But Shiva says he does not want to be a superhero. He does show up at work with broken arms and bruises while fighting crime, and you wish, you wish they would keep to this cool premise going.

The successful streak of saving lives goes awry when a young girl and a woman police officer sent by Shiva to save her are killed horribly. Their bodies are mutilated and thankfully the director refrains from showing body parts.

Shiva is horrified. All this technology at his fingertips and he could not save two lives?! He is disheartened. But his father inspires him to continue his good fight. Shiva begins to look for clues. And in a clever use of social media (seriously clever!) they narrow the suspects down and realise that the murderer is not alone!

SJ Surya shows up on screen as perhaps the creepiest villain in Indian cinema. He plays Bhairavudu the demented killer who has murdered people since childhood. The whys and hows will shake you. But if you are a TV show junkie, then you have seen many such demented serial killers in shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. After all, it’s their 18th season on TV.

However, Surya does a fine job, gnashing his teeth and his smile when he’s watching people mourn is the finest piece of acting you will see. Shades of Raghuvaran, surely!

Soon Shiva and his technology find him and the game of hero vs villain begins. This is where the film nosedives into a full on action movie mode. You’ve seen villain threaten hero’s family, you’ve seen car chases, you’ve seen villain escape police custody, you’ve also seen stunts similar to the roller coaster ride. Bombs going off and scientists being coerced to doing bad things is fine, but you wonder how the villain (who’s shown to have grown up poor) knows how the scientists can demolish rocks, or how he manages to get to Shiva’s house…

Suspending disbelief we watch as bombs go off and disaster strikes at the hospital. The masala flick gives you everything: people screaming, chest beating, concrete slabs breaking off, bad guy suddenly kung fooing his way to a grisly end.

Mahesh Babu looks just as young as he did in Athadu and he still can punch his way out of burning, breaking buildings. And I mention Athadu because writer/director Murugadoss cleverly adds the name ‘Parthu’ to the TV show which becomes a huge part of the end game. 

There are plenty of great ideas starting with the spying and using the ladies who watch tv shows like crazy but the movie does not push the envelope and takes comfort in masala. Fans will love him regardless. I wanted to see the robot spiders I saw in the trailer…

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