Spy: Spineless Primitive Cinema of Yore
Spy Telugu Review
Star Cast: Nikhil Siddhartha, Aryan Rajesh, Iswarya Menon, Sanya Thakur , Abhinav Gomatam, Makrand Deshpande, and Jisshu Sen Gupta
Story by K. Rajashekhar Reddy
Written by Anirudh Krishnamurthy
Cinematography by Vamsi Patchipulusu & Mark David
Edited and Directed by Garry BH
A good film always has a connectivity factor on the highest level. A core that holds together everything we witness happening on screen. Take a film like Mission Impossible , the movie majorly has cool stunts and saving a nation’s secret or acquiring something inaccessible. It connects us with the core group of agents and their desperation for conquest. The mission takes a back seat slowly as we are captivated by the leads. The same thing has happened with Pathaan , Tiger Zinda Hai , and War  kind of spy thrillers in Indian Cinema. Pathaan has even made YRF bold enough to drop more in quick time. In addition to them, Viswaroopam , D-Day , Baby , and many films have been released. And many more are in production. Telugu Cinema caught up with the trend with Adivi Sesh’s Goodachari . Unfortunately, we took the recent madly bad crop of Bollywood Spy movies to emulate in Telugu. Agent  and Spy are big examples of such films which have bottomless pits in the name of scripts.
Hero’s brother is killed by someone in the early shots of the film, whom we need to fear. But then an Ironman 3  kind of twist asks us to wait for the villain reveal. Man, Ironman 3 tried to talk about the post-Avengers trauma of Tony Stark that the weight leid on his shoulders to save the entire earth. To prepare himself and take a person, who is set to change the Universe, this time is needed. Also, he comes out of his self-doubt and panic attacks by bonding with a young kid. He understands the real danger that he is causing himself and his close ones. It’s not just about Mandarin and catching him. Mission Impossible films have more and more became about the character of Tom Cruise and his issues. It’s not easy to connect with a character who puts country above everything and agents like James Bond have been alive for over 70 years (including books age). So, the first important thing when you write a spy thriller is to write the lead character. His characteristics and beliefs.
In Spy, Nikhil as Jai is as random as our neighborhood uncle. He believes in a loud-mouthed friend who gives him tasks and falls in love without any background check. Later, he even becomes a WhatsApp uncle and a huge graduate of WhatsApp University. Well, Rana Daggubati helps him in the graduation process and anoints him with a huge degree before the mission. So, if there is a half-constructed missile launcher, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force, Indian Army just left them hanging. British did not rule India, in principle, during 1944-1947. They let India form an indirect governance and asked them to agree to an arrangement like Australia. Yes, still Australia has a King, that is England’s Duke of Wales. India did not agree to that arrangement and from 1945 till the date India became completely Independent, India had a government that accepts King as their President and as a commonwealth Nation that serves the King’s throne. Hence, we still are playing Commonwealth Games.
But in WhatsApp University, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel had a fight with Mahatma Gandhi because he did not want Jinnah to become PM. Jinnah kept his proposal of separating the Muslim Nation way back in 1942. And he has been fighting for it from England’s rulers ever since. Jawaharlal Nehru neither encouraged him nor tried to oppose Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s nomination. The truth is Mahatma Gandhi’s words have been seen as words written on stone. So, whatever partiality he has shown and how Nehru became PM are separate stories. Subhash Chandra Bose wanted to drive away the British and he had plans to launch a huge attack on England too. Allied Forces won the Second World War and unfortunately, his mission faced failure. His death and his identity post World War and INA or Azad Hind Fauj suppression are hidden secrets. He is the hero of Indian Independence Struggle and he should be respected as one. Adding fictional details, even to make him an even bigger hero than he is, also becomes a heinous crime.
Rather than living in that history, we should try to progress forward. This film neither tries to live in the present nor dig up the ghosts of the past. It just tries to be a cool-looking Spy thriller, without understanding the intelligence the people behind Research and Analysis Wing operatives have. Making jokes around created characters or situations is nice but trying to depict Chief as a spineless person just shows a lack of any scripting sense on the makers. Pathaan doesn’t claim to be authentic yet it created strong female and male chiefs above the lead character. War is not a clever film still it brings out issues like prejudice and redemption arcs. What does Spy offer? [In the movie, Sastri is the chief of RAW, India’s intelligence agency. He is supposed to be a smart and competent leader, but he fails to notice a major conspiracy involving his own agent and a terrorist named Abdul Khader. He also does not question how Abdul Khader survived a headshot from his agent, who died in the process. This makes Sastri’s character seem unrealistic and incompetent. How did the hero’s father approve his son becoming an agent after losing his elder son so tragically? Didn’t he have any emotions left? How could a relative be allowed to investigate a case involving his own family? Even the police don’t do that. But makers didn’t care about logic. Logic was buried with the dead.]
It gives a chance to a bunch of non-actors to roam around like actors. Nikhil Siddhartha is good but all others just lacked any direction. Abhinav Gomatam is a good actor but at no point he looked like a RAW recruit. Ishwarya Menon also did not look fit. Recruiting someone for a Spy agency involves a huge amount of work and training for years. It’s not done like we recruit actors for a certain role because we “like” them. Spy fails in being cool, as it wants to be. It tries its hand at the non-linear screenplay and those shifts and cuts just look haularious. As random as it sounds, this movie is a collage of bad scenes cut from good and somewhat watchable Spy films. Calling this film, a Spy thriller is an insult to the genre, in itself. While they tried to be slick and cool by creating their own history looking at the output even Subhash Chandra Bose would have disowned ever being part of INA.
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