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SPYDER (Telugu) - Had Murugadoss thought of a different second half, this could have been a cult Indian film on a horrifying serial killer. (Review by Bobby Sing)
02 Oct, 2017 | Movie Reviews / 2017 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

Writer-director A.R. Murugadoss has always delivered interestingly fresh films based on powerful subjects but along with a forced romantic plot and taking big cinematic liberties to the level of being illogical or unbelievable. The same stands true for his latest SPYDER that has a strong impactful first half, introducing you to a never before kind of merciless, appalling mass murderer having a dreadful background and then a highly exaggerated or over the top second that negatively affects the impact made till the intermission.
 
Strangely SPYDER was widely promoted as a novel spy thriller, whereas its actually about a ghastly serial killer who feels immense pleasure in watching people grieving over the dead hearing their deafening cries. Can’t say why the makers chose to promote it that way, maybe not to sound as something dark and depressing affecting the mega project's crucial opening.
 
Anyway, Murugadoss really scores well in the film's first half portraying an inhuman character on screen exploring his unusual story of having born in a cremation ground itself along bodies being brought in for their final rituals. A forced romantic plot (as usual) running parallel to the mystery also appears to be fine in this initial hour and the viewer does feel highly involved as well as charged knowing the shocking truth behind the regularly planned murders and the strange serial killer. However, an over the top action sequence coming just before an engrossing, unexpected twist at intermission proves to be a big downer.
 
Sadly, SPYDER fails to maintain both the pace and novelty factor in its second half where the writer-director goes back to his trademark shortcoming of thinking too vaguely to the level of unbelievably weird and illogical. A hero getting cured in a couple of days even after getting a rod pierced in his body, interfering a channel’s telecast involving several housewives of a locality catching the culprit in two hours and a chemical causing a huge rock fall off the hill attacking the city running over the cars (as an attempt to look like a Hollywood movie) turns out to be too much to the level of something entertainingly laughable. Unfortunately the same can be said about the film’s finale hospital sequence too remaining entirely dependent upon some tacky special effects, not really expected in a film made at this level by one of the biggest names of the industry ruining a very fine build-up.
 
Thankfully performances work, especially of the most important character of the film, the heartless killer with a smile played by S. J. Suryah and he does take away all the attention unarguably. Mahesh is fine and so is Rakul being the ‘has to be there’ leading lady of the film. And both cinematography and songs serve the purpose well along with the background score. Still, it really could have been an entirely different experience, had the writer-director thought of a much mature and more mysterious kind of engaging second half.
 
On the other hand, despite its major downers, SPYDER still tries to convey an important truth of our society, gone through a sudden, drastic change in the last two decades. And the life threatening truth is that we now feel NO or much less COMPASSION in the sufferings of the other crying right in front of our eyes going through a sudden crisis. May be the reason lies in the continuous disasters happening around us in the recent decades or the way we keep on watching everything like a regular news telecast on TV sitting in our comfortable homes - the undeniable truth remains that we are certainly not concerned about the other anymore becoming all selfish souls, which was not the way life was lived before this new millennium. And that is the cruel reality whether one wishes to accept or not, due to his or her own reasons.
 
As a big film reaching many young minds of the country, SPYDER does get some extra brownie points for this enlightening social message and can surely be seen for its powerful, inventive first half much ahead than an exaggerated and over the top second spoiling the entire effort. But I really wish Murugadoss had not gone overboard with such a great plot in hand focusing on the villain for a change, having all the possibilities of becoming a cult serial killer film.

(Note: The article was first published on UC-News Mobile App on 2nd October 2017)
 
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Shared below are views - Beyond the initial write-up with more interesting insights.
 
Moving beyond the review, the best part of SPYDER is its portrayal of the powerful villain with a never before kind of backdrop and reason behind his saddist approach towards mankind. Personally it did remind me of another strong villain of Hindi films played by Ashutosh Rana in SANGHARSH (1999).
 
The other worth mentioning feature of SPYDER is the way it tries to showcase the practice of ‘undisclosed call tapping’ in a positive manner capable of stopping the crime before it happens. And this further gets well conveyed in a dialogue when Mahesh says, “I do not wish to do a Police job investigating a crime after the damage has been done. I wish to do something which can stop the crime to happen in advance”
 
However the most important fact SPYDER discloses in its thoughtful theme is about our (largely unexplored) human psyche and its tendency of feeling excited in the time of crisis or disasters affecting ‘the other’. 
 
Honestly I always used to convey the same to my close friends, but they never agreed or hesitated to agree due to some fear of their own. Thankfully the film does it perfectly and mentions the same in one of its key sequences giving the reference of an important study too. 
 
Explaining it in my own words, somewhere inside....... in some corner of the human psyche…. a certain kind of interest and excitement is felt by every person listening/watching the news of a big disaster or calamity not directly related to him or her. In the language of Television, it can also be denoted by the rising TRP in such times, more sale of newspapers or more hits at the websites showing the exclusive news.
 
Now as mentioned in the film that percentage of the interest or excitement felt by the people has marginally increased in the recent times, resulting in less ‘Compassion’ felt in the pain and sufferings of the other. Cannot say whether its just the expression of the writer or a factual truth. But I personally do feel it’s true, which is nothing short of an alarming red signal for the whole humanity.

Rating : 3 / 5  (Would like to recommend the film just for the powerful portrayal of its villain in the first half)

Tags : SPYDER (Telugu) Beyond The Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Indian Regional Language Movies Reviews by Bobby Sing, Indian Regional Gems.
02 Oct 2017 / Comment ( 0 )
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