Spyder movie cast: Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet, SJ Suryah, RJ Balaji
Spyder movie director: AR Murugadoss
Spyder movie rating: 3.5
In Spyder, Shiva (Mahesh Babu), an Intelligence Bureau official, doesn’t mind bending the rules so long as it saves people’s lives and prevents a crime from taking place. When people make panic calls, his systems send him an alert and he listens to the distress calls using his spy apps. One such call lands him a geeky girlfriend, played by Rakul Preet Singh. And another such call makes him cross paths with serial killer Sudalai, outstandingly played by SJ Suryah.
The psychopathic serial killer is on the prowl in the city. He is not alone. He has got assistance from his younger brother (Bharath), who stalks and collects details of their next prey. Unlike most of the serial killers, these two has got no particular preferences in selecting their victims. They kill everyone from teenage girls to elderly people, without any discrimination of male or female. The wailing sounds and flowing tears of unconsolable kin of their victims give these killers a high. A sadistic pleasure that they started experiencing when they were kids.
Director AR Murguadoss introduces us to Sudalai with a brutal crime that happens under Shiva’s watch. Shiva rushes to a crime scene where two females, one a teenage girl and another a woman cop (Shiva’s friend) have been cut into pieces and their body parts have been mixed up. The director spares us the blood and gory visuals of the above-described scene as he leaves everything to our imagination.
The main antagonist of Murguadoss’ film strikes fear in the audience even before he is introduced on the screen. We don’t know how he looks but we are terrified by the mere thought of him hiding in plain sight.
Murguadoss’s main protagonist and antagonist and the conflict between them look inspired from filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. In one scene, Shiva tells his friend played by RJ Balaji that he is neither Spiderman or Superman. It seems like he knows that he is a Batman. He spies on people with fancy gadgets and unofficially, anonymously, he fights the crime. Like the Joker, Sudalai is insane and commits crimes for the pleasure. He likes killing people with blades and cuts them into pieces. And he televises his evil plans of killing people to get what he wants. He is an “agent of chaos.”
The confrontation between two characters is the highlight of the narration. Both are equally smart. But, when it comes to physical strength, Shiva has got one-up on Sudalai. If Sudalai lands a jab, Shiva comes back at him with a hook. While Sudalai thinks he has got his opponent against the ropes, Shiva manages to fight his way off the ropes. The back and forth exchange between the two prime characters is well written and smartly executed with convincing performances. More importantly, the logic in the narration is very much intact.
The scenes where a group of housewives bond together by overcoming their fears to stop a murderer. Or when people realise that they have a moral duty to lend a helping hand to another fellow human being in the middle of a crisis are very strong and moving. And the director has made use of Mahesh Babu’s comic timing to provide us some relief from all the tense moments.
Murugadoss has also shown considerable changes in his narration techniques in Spyder. The way he has staged the scenes with Suryah, including a casual reveal of his victim’s dead body in a house, where he has held a family as hostage. The backstory of Sudalai and the convincing performances he has extracted from the supporting cast are some of the features of Murugadoss’s direction in Spyder that looks refreshing. Thankfully, unlike Kaththi, he has not forcefully injected songs that hamper the speed of the narration. Though I personally feel, it would have been much better without Haali Haali song that follows after an important face-off between Shiva and Sudalai.
Murugadoss gives us creeps with the way he has presented Suryah as Sudalai. Be it his hairstyle, mannerisms or how he revels in other’s pain, Suryah owns every frame. The narration only catches up speed when he comes into it. The director has balanced the creepiness of his antagonist with a charming protagonist, Mahesh. Like many of his film, Murugadoss’s Spyder also has a message that speaks of the evils of our civilization.