Cast: Mahesh Babu, S J Surya and Rakul Preet Singh
Director: A Murugadoss
Rating: * * ½
This A Murgadoss directed overly ambitious Mahesh Babu starrer has faltering ambitions of making it across Southern state borders to a wider national audience. That explains it’s wide release across India in several languages.
A designated spy thriller, of the kind we’ve been subjected to of late, this one has the Andhra star as a cool savvy espionage artist Shiva, who goes all the way to do his job well. Shiva job at the Intelligence Bureau involves tapping calls that indicate a threat to someone’s life and then goes about saving them. That means there’s a load of stunts, incredulous twists and turns, showy action spectacle and a few intriguing ideas thrown in for good measure.
Despite all efforts to stay grounded, the narrative takes off into flights of fancy that look outrageous yet there’s enough adrenaline rush intrinsic to this spectacle to keep you fairly interested. The screenplay jumps from the ingenious to the outlandish with shots of masala thrown in. Shiva ingeniously seeks help from television-addicted housewives to save ten hostages and nab a terrorist, and his smart moves while saving his mother and kid-brother from a sadistic villain is also quite inspired.
The character of the female lead is poorly written for one. Rakul Preet Singh plays a sexually aware medical student, who is hung-up on porn and then goes the opposite way in order to get the 98% she is aiming for. Her relationship with our hero is strictly platonic until they eventually fall in love. Weird if you ask me. This Mahesh Babu film has the thrills but it has also grossed out on interesting ideas which might have been more promising if the director had employed a little more guile. Spyder, the way it plays, is a little too straightforward and limiting in its expense. If only a little more imagination were employed, this one would have been a far better film!