Critics’ Review: Suryah Steals the Show as the Villain in ‘Spyder’


A still from<i> Spyder.&nbsp;</i>
A still from Spyder.  (Photo courtesy: Twitter)

Critics’ Review: Suryah Steals the Show as the Villain in ‘Spyder’

Telugu cinema’s much-awaited film, Spyder has finally hit the screens. The AR Murugadoss film has been creating a lot of buzz. The Mahesh Babu film, which has been touted as a spy thriller, is getting mixed reviews from critics.

A review in Hindustan Times goes ahead and calls the film an “insult to the spy genre”.

It’s an insult to the spy genre if the film continues to market itself as a spy thriller because nothing portrayed in the film is even remotely connected to what a spy would do, and it doesn’t include tapping into someone’s phone calls.
Karthik Kumar, Hindustan Times
A still from<i> Spyder.&nbsp;</i>
A still from Spyder. 
(Photo courtesy: Twitter)

The report in Hindustan Times states that the film, which has a humanistic angle, thanks to the flashback about the villain played by SJ Suryah works to some extent.

“Suryah is terrific as the menacing psycho killer but his character could have been better written,” said the reviewer.

Talking about actor Mahesh Babu, he said,

Even in a slightly over-the-top portrayal, is a treat to watch. He’s a man of few words and uses brain over his fists.
Karthik Kumar, Hindustan Times

But apparently, the film which is made on a budget of Rs 125 crore, doesn’t deliver on great VFX either.

A review in The Indian Express stated that the “exchange between the two prime characters is well written and smartly executed with convincing performances”.

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. 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.
Manoj Kumar, The Indian Express

A review in The Hindu states that the villain, SJ Suryah steals the show.

Spyder is a thriller and has a strong role etched out for the villain, which obviously means a greater challenge for the hero. After a decent introduction in the first half, the graph for the hero doesn’t rise, the intensity dips and the narration falls flat. Mahesh is good, but after a point, we wonder what he is doing here. It is S J Suryah as Bhairava who walks away with all the attention.
Y Sunita Chowdhary, The Hindu

The review stated how the film, “in the second half, turns into an absolute farce. Rakul as Charlie is mere eye-candy and Santosh Sivan is the saving grace. Harris Jeyraj’s music is good, while editing could have been better”.

Spyder, he gives us a taste of what cell-phone tapping is like and how one such intelligent officer uses it to do good for the society,” the report said.

But the reviewer in First Post disagreed.

Right from the word go, Murugadoss makes it evident that the characters in the film are too focused and he doesn’t let go off his foot from the gas pedal till the end. Spyder is a serious action thriller.
Hemanth Kumar, First Post

It seems the film will only be a satifying watch for the Telugu audience.

The core of Spyder seems to have been written for Telugu audience. Even for them, Spyder isn’t a satisfying star vehicle. Or Maybe Spyder isn’t what Murugadoss imagined on paper. Because, some scenes, even on paper, appears to be pompous. Consider the scene from the second half of 7am Arivu and you’ll understand better. Spyder looks to be passionate on many levels. But very little translates on-screen.
Srivatsan, India Today

To wrap up, it looks like Mahesh Babu and SJ Suryah has delivered good performances in Spyder, but SJ Suryah aka the villain has overtaken the hero in the race because of his well-etched backstory. Like many films, Rakul Preet, Mahesh Babu’s love interest, has little role to play in the plot of the film. And the film, despite having a big budget, is not a visual treat.

(Source: The Indian Express, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, First Post, India Today)

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