In the world today, the list of necessities begins with a satisfying job and ends in lots of money at hand. And luxury is a happy family along with the package. When life is complete with all that, how bizarre can a normal day get, toppling the niceties altogether? 'Athithi' is a movie about a life changing - or ruining - day in the picture perfect life of a successful and determined young man. Coming from 'punch' Bharathan, who is acclaimed for his work in success stories like 'Ghilli', 'Dhill' and 'Dhool', as his second venture in direction, 'Athithi' is a thriller made on the life of a simple man.
Madhiazhagan (Nandha) is a highly successful project manager at a leading property promoters firm. He's happily wedded to Vasugi (Ananya) and has a five year old daughter Pavi. Posh house, heftily paying job, highly appreciative and supportive boss, and a happy family - Madhi's life is a far fetched dream to most people in this era. But all changes one day, when a man requests to be dropped enroute, when Madhi and Vasu set out on a pleasant weekend. The mysterious stranger pulls out a pistol and begins to threaten the couple to bend to his wishes, holding Pavi as hostage. And the day sets off with the stranger making the couple draw out all the money Madhi has, to the last penny and setting it all on fire. Next, he makes Madhi lose his career by leaking the top secrets of his company, trusted to him, to their competitor. And the day goes on with further more gimmicks by the stranger, while the couple are cornered to do it all for their little daughter's life. And for the same reason, they also refrain from making a complaint to the police, although they are tantalizingly near their target. While this seems endless, how they figure a way out of the mess, with a completely unexpected twist to the whole story in the end, 'Athithi' is an edge-of-the-seat realistic thriller.
Both Nandha as well as Nikesh enjoy equal weightage in the film, as the two share the screen with one commanding and demanding with the other helplessly obliging. Nandha, the distraught father and helpless husband does justice to his role with just the right amount of anger and aggression, amidst his confusion. However, not that it was a deterrent, but he could have been a bit more expressive with his platter of emotions. On the other hand, Ananya is very expressive in each situation dealt to her, and this renders the tension in the story palpable to the audience. Nikesh retains his composure in every move, while managing to threaten the couple to the edge of their lives. This gives him for perfect image of a cool criminal. Appearing for brief periods, the snippets where Thambi Ramaiah features are entertaining and a little thought provoking too. With all the emotions in place, the film ensures to glue you to your seat till the mystery resolves in the last minute.
Trust Bharathan to bring home an all new concept and here he is with the Kolly version of the Malayalam flick 'Cocktail'. The film was a clear success in terms of the critics it received back in Mollywood; taking inspiration from this out-of-the-box hit, director Bharathan has brought to us the same story in his signature screenplay. Known for his forte in entertaining screenplay, Bharathan has lived up to the promise once again, in this movie. However, its portions after intermission are much more thrilling than the first half.
S.Jai's cinematography deserves applause for the neutral yet vividly colourful and pleasant frames all through the film. Praveen on editing has done an excellent job in putting the pieces together in the right entertaining sequence. His skills in certain sequences, like the ones introducing the antagonist and the climax, stand out in excellence. Bharathwaj's tunes aren't seen much in the film, but Ratheesh's score takes the cake, befitting the mood in every scene. With Bharathan's direction as an icing, what awaits you in the end is a climax that you would have imagined in the least, encapsuling the entire movie. The overall picture in all is a wonderful entertainer, worth investing your time in.