The grand Dussehra attraction of 2017 couldn't be bigger than this. The debut of Telugu sensation Mahesh Babu in Tamil in this bilingual in Telugu and Tamil written and helmed by the prolific AR Murugadoss who has carved his niche in mainstream action-packed entertainers couldn't have asked for a better release date than this.
Murugadoss better known in Bollywood as the director of Aamir Khan's GHAJINI, Akshay Kumar's HOLIDAY – SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY, Sonakshi Sinha starrer AKIRA (except AKIRA, the other two are remakes of his own Tamil blockbusters GHAJINI & THUPPAKI).
With the buzz of Akshay Kumar probable teaming up with Murugadoss again in the remake of his own KATHTHI, the debut of Telugu sensation Mahesh Babu in this bilingual in Telugu and Tamil on this Dussehra has rightly created immense hype. Let's see how the two stalwarts in their own field – Mahesh Babu and Murugadoss fare in this promised grand Dussehra affair SPYDER.
There is nothing novel or path-breaking in the basic idea of SPYDER, Murugadoss pens a story based on the off repeated but trusted theme of good v/s evil. The populist concept is perfect for the upcoming grand festival where Shiva (Mahesh) is a techie working in the Intelligence Bureau. Happy to find himself in doing something that can prevent a crime before happening, Shiva is the ideal saviour, messiah we have seen in mainstream escapist cinema. In Murugadoss' SPYDER, Shiva taps calls that indicate a threat to someone's life and saves them. One night a call from a girl in anxiety who finds herself alone in her house with no electricity while power in her surroundings is unaffected, Shiva smells something fishy and urges a woman constable to look into the matter. Next morning, shocking news of the girl and the woman constable brutally butchered by a killer hits the headlines, sending shivers in the locality. Rest is how Shiva nabs the killer – Bhairavudu (SJ Suryah), who has a past and has his own psychological reason to kill people, forms the crux of this good v/s evil drama.
After the mass appealing establishment of the protagonist Shiva, the movie takes a chilling turn when the story of the antagonist Bhairavudu (SJ Suryah) is narrated by Murugadoss, captivating and thrilling at the same time, Murugadoss is at his best while introducing the psychopath Bhairavudu (SJ Suryah) and we smell a pulse rising cat and mouse game to keep us glued to our seat.
Shockingly, after the thrilling combat of Shiva with Bhairavudu's brother and partner in crime played by Bharath, the chill gets cooled down considerably and the high octane tussle and game of one-upmanship between Shiva and Bhairavudu is missing. Rakul Preet Singh tries her best to rob the audience of the desired thrills in this movie. Though she oozes infectious charm but she is a hindrance in whatever kick the audience is receiving in the film. She just repeats what Sonakshi Sinha did in HOLIDAY – SOLDIER IS NEVER OFF DUTY.
Further in the second half things take a suicidal turn when that huge boulder rolls down destroying cars giving a feeling of a Hollywood disaster movie gone wrong and running for help. By grace of god and prayers of audience and fans of Mahesh Babu, the rumble stops and Shiva gets over the evil Bhairavudu and delivers some gyan on service to mankind beyond social media 'likes' and 'share'.
Unfortunately, Murugadoss has dared to give the antagonist Bhairavudu played brilliantly by SJ Suryah a good mileage in a movie starring Mahesh Babu. SJ Suryah menacing villainy is the major highlight that threatens to steal the limelight from the mass pleaser Mahesh Babu.
Mahesh Babu is perfect in his role as the hero of the masses and saviour, his diehard fans will be thrilled but honestly as a common audience, Shiva fails to get the novelty in his character that Bhairavudu enjoys and the tussle between the hero and the villain in this mainstream format lacks the expected heat and aggression in this mega 120 crore budget grand Dussera adventure.
Production values are fine and technicalities are polished with Santosh Sivan camera doing the right talking. Music by Harris Jayaraj is functional. Action is targeted at front benchers.
All said and done, SPYDER finds itself entangled in its huge expectations and struggles to cast its web and deliver as per expectations. Bringing the stalwarts of Telugu and Tamil cinema – Mahesh Babu and AR Murugadoss together, this grand Dussera attraction lacks the thunder. Watch it if you love Mahesh Babu than anything else in this world.