Telugu Reviews

SPYder Review: A Film That Attempts To Be Novel, But Fails

SPYder‘s trailer does little justice to SJ Suryah’s Bhairavaa. Barely onscreen for a second, the actor-director comes off like your garden-variety unhinged maniac. The trailer chooses to focus on Mahesh Babu… the Telugu superstar who personifies his moniker – Prince.


Effete, soft-spoken, and with the kind of build that lends itself well to the metro-sexual male roles he often plays, Mahesh Babu is an unusual star. Nothing ruffles that calm demeanour. He’s the sort of chap one can lean on in times of trouble.

With a job that allows him the ability to literally see and hear all, it’s no wonder that he’s named Shiva.

For AR Murugadoss, this film is an interesting exercise. He turns to mythology to supplement the film’s lack of a solid narrative. So, the hero is Shiva. The villain is the demonic Bhairavaa.

The heroine is perhaps the sole aberration as far as the theme goes. She’s Charlie (Rakul Preet Singh) – to reflect her modern attitude about love and relationship. She says she’s only up for a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship with Shiva. He’s nonplussed. Imagine a character called Parvati mouthing those lines. Just wouldn’t hold.


The film SJ Suryah’s Bhairavaa as its mainstay. It revolves around him. The rest, including Mahesh’s Shiva, exist and attain importance because Bhairavaa does.

Murugadoss needs to be appreciated for creating a villain who kills because he can. There’s no sad backstory…no motive to feed his killing spree. He feeds off grief. And when there isn’t enough to satisfy him, he creates situations that cause grief. It’s a kickass role and SJ Suryah revels in it. The constant comparisons to Dark Knight aside, here’s a mainstream film that is unabashed in its celebration of pure evil.

In contrast, Mahesh Babu and that constant halo that follows him around seem almost boring. Much of this actor’s talents are subtle, so you never get the sort of powerful performance SJ Suryah churns out.


There’s been a lot of hype around this film, and in many ways, it feels like the film had been set up to fail. The promotions and fiery interviews promised more than the film and its director could deliver. Murugadoss doesn’t know when to stop his imagination running riot. And so, we get giant boulders, housewives as action stars,
so on and so forth.


Eventually, it stops being a film and becomes an exercise in novelty. Santosh Sivan, Sreekar Prasad and even Harris Jayaraj are value additions to this project. Despite their combined efforts, the film fails to come together. It’s a mish-mash of ideas and ideologies. It wants to glorify its villain while maintaining the superstar image of its male lead. It wants to show a new type of heroine and usher in that rare mainstream film that makes use of the mythology bestowed upon us by our forebears. It’s a tall order.

Amusing and entertaining in parts, SPYder is a film that desperately wants to be slick, polished and even meaningful. But, it fails on all these fronts.


The SPYder review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.