A.R. Murugadoss has long established himself as one of Indian cinema’s most-visionary Directors with films like Kaththi, Thuppakki, and 7aum Arivu. His films are not only known for their revolutionary outlook and stylish presentation, but also for their thrilling execution and ability to cater to a wide section of the audience – he’s a Director who simply lives to thrill and entertain his audience. With SPYder, Murugadoss once again takes you on a revolutionary trip that’s sure to get your heart racing, adrenaline pumping, and curiosity tingling. The only difference here is that the tempo of your heartbeats and adrenaline will feel a tad mellowed when compared to some of the filmmaker’s better works.
Like most of Murugadoss’ films, the plot is set up to take you on an exciting ride. Shiva, played with equal parts style and sincerity by Mahesh Babu, is a crack intelligence officer, who not only courageously nabs criminals before they commit the crime with the assistance of a groundbreaking software that can monitor any call, but is also the smart alec who designed the software and oversees its functionality. He performs his job with pin-point accuracy till the day a serial killer called Bhairavadu enters the fray. Played with fiendish sadism and diabolical masochism by S.J. Suryah, Bhairavadu is the adversary that brings Shiva to his knees, making him even contemplate quitting his duties, till he realizes that he’s the only one who can stop the psychopath’s maniacal spree, which means going to any whatever lengths he has to.
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Murugadoss once again has a winning plot on his hands, and for the most part, he executes it with the astuteness and dexterity he’s known for. The problem is that the screenplay of SPYder isn’t as watertight as many of erstwhile films, which leads to more than a few glaring loopholes and inconsistencies in narration. For instance, you can’t help but question why Shiva has got a free rein and goes about completing several dangerous assignments sans any backup even though there’s a crazed killer on the loose, who’ll stop at nothing to mutilate anyone he can get his hands on. More importantly, you wonder how he’s allowed to do so by his seniors and other departmental bureaucrats in spite of them insisting he should take others along on such perilous tasks. His girlfriend, Charlie (played charmingly by Rakul Preet), tagging along on his assignments or waltzing into covert intelligence headquarters, that too while the serial killer is being questioned, also doesn’t add up in a film that aims to be an edgy and smart thriller.
Still, keeping such obvious flaws aside, SPYder has enough going for it to keep you hooked. The entire cat-and-mouse game between Shiva and Bhairavadu will leave you thrilled for most parts, with both actors being given author-backed roles that they sink their teeth into. Rakul Preet’s romantic track is a major weak link in the movie, but, thankfully, her natural charm and chemistry with Mahesh Babu mitigate the distracting romantic interludes. Also, full points to ace cinematographer Santosh Sivan, editor Sreekar Prasad, and the VFX team, who, along with Murugadoss’ vision, create some international-standard action scenes and stunts that’ll draw you to the edge of your seat. Case in point being the boulder and hospital sequences.
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Murugadoss also displays his famous acumen for creating massy moments with brains like Shiva’s plan to save his family, the entire flashback sequence that establishes Bhairavadu disorder, and the riveting pre-interval block. However, for every such moment there’s another completely jarring, over-the-top one that dilutes the thrilling impact of the film. The entire roller-coaster stunt or the part where Shiva engages untrained, unsuspecting housewives to corner a dangerous killer are just too implausible to be taken seriously. The songs, too, appear completely out of sync with the narrative.
Murugadoss’ vision is once again on point in SPYder, but his execution isn’t as slick as it normally is. Still, the film does have its moments of brilliance, with a sincere Mahesh Babu and sadistic S.J. Suryah in full flow, to more than merit an engaging watch in the theater.
Movified Rating: 3/5
Images Source: NVR Cinema