Athiran Review: a movie worth watching
There is a pleasure when you see a movie that looked clumsy occasionally while watching but makes sense when you look back at all those events after knowing the climax. Athiran from Vivek is one such movie which has that quality. The movie is powered by solid performances and cinematography that just elevates the mood of the movie. Even though Athiran is not so careful about maintaining suspense, it is a movie worth watching.
A mental asylum in a remote area is our premise. A government psychiatrist named M K Nair arrives there for enquiry after the government received a lot of complaints about the functioning of the asylum. The arrival of Nair and what all he witnesses there is what Athiran all about.
The ‘70s shown in Athiran is absolutely captivating. Vivek takes us to his zone of storytelling very swiftly and effectively. The movie becomes exciting due to the treatment even when some things were predictable. But in the second half, there are so many muddled areas in the screenplay that makes the experience a bit clumsy. But whatever exaggeration or drama one feels in that phase gets a proper justification when some revelations happen at the end of the film. The flexibility of Fahadh Faasil is the key factor that helps the director in those vital areas.
The impossible Fahadh Faasil once again stuns you with his ability to enact the multiple dimensions of a character. The least dramatic dialogues that came from him gave the movie a special charm. The voice modulation and expressions were top notch. Sai Pallavi is another great performer here who scores only using the perfect portrayal of the body language of an autistic person. She makes the physical condition of the character look really believable. Atul Kulkarni as the very eccentric Benjamin was good. Lena gets an important character that doesn’t really test her capacity. Leona Leshoy, Surabhi Lakshmi, Vijay Menon, and Sudev Nair deserved slightly more space for their characters.
Where Vivek has sort of succeeded is in making Athiran linger in our minds. By the time I sat down to write the review, almost all the logical flaws I sensed had an answer. PF Mathews has carefully included all subplots to have an impact once we finally go through the necessity of all those subplots. The only problem was that the making wasn’t entirely gripping in that phase and they should have taken additional care to keep the secret rather than letting us guess it so easily. The setup gives the movie ample scope to utilize visual storytelling and the cinematographer Anu Moothedathu has delivered some really commendable shots that elevate the feel of the movie. The background score was effective and the songs were also quite memorable.
Vivek has this great knack of giving the viewer an immersive experience and that’s the highlight of Athiran. Screenplay lifts the usual story to a layered level and Fahadh Faasil and Sai Pallavi just makes it even better.
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