Spyder movie cast: Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet Singh, SJ Surya, RJ Balaji
Spyder movie director: AR Murugadoss
Spyder movie rating: 2.5 stars
After ‘Baahubali’, the stream of Southern films with subtitles is getting thicker. And that’s all good, because we get to witness, first-hand, the fuss around the much-anticipated ‘Spyder’, and its leading man Mahesh Babu, who is right on top of the Telugu movie pyramid.
‘Spyder’ pits a good Shiva (Babu) against the evil Bhairavudu (Surya), and gets off the mark with a bang, like an effective spy thriller should. Shiva’s thing is to rescue people in distress, but when he comes up against Bhairavudu, whose blood-lust is beyond all sane comprehension, he is stymied.
The cat-and-mouse games they play keep us engrossed enough in the first half. The only distraction Shiva has is in the shape of the perky doctor Charlie (yes, that’s her name, played by Singh), with whom he flirts mildly and shakes a leg, along with a zillion techni-coloured extras.
But the real conflict happens between the two men, and of the two, Surya comes off as the more eye-catching. His bad guy has real menace, and a chilling backstory (Murgudoss’s strength, which we’ve seen before in ‘Ghajini’, is in creating creepily depraved characters, and it is in full bloom here too). If only he wasn’t made to declaim loudly in the second half, he would have joined the ranks of the most memorable Indian villains in recent times.
In fact, post-interval, not just the baddie, but the film itself starts to slide and wobble. The noble Shiva is much more to the fore, and he even gets to deliver a lecture on the evils of social media, and how ‘liking’ the physical person next to you is much more important than pressing on virtual ticks.
While, of course, saving humanity.